I would like to get the feedback of students in the chemical-allied sciences & engineering to describe what concepts, ideas, or thoughts come to mind when you hear or think of the word, "green." Please be as descriptive as possible. I am currently teaching a Green Chemistry course & lab and would very much enjoy hearing your feedback.
Green brings to mind nature, from the scum in a pond to the expansive forest foliage. When I think of green in relation to society, it seems to correspond to to money... which is basically processed products from nature. In industry, green apparently means cost prohibitive to most of the world.
I want green to mean symbiotic with nature. What is done by humans through working with nature can provide far more benefit than working against it.
Green, a color that surrounds our lives, is more than just a color. It often represents a happy ecosystem, thriving plants absorbing sunlight, which can provide a direct linkage to the coined term "green", which can be used to describe a eco-friendly process or idea which helps to preserve the green around us. Therefore, I believe that green means preserving and nurturing the world around us and keeping it green. Virtually every species around us has developed ways of doing it so why can't we? Perhaps its the brainwashing of our society to control an abundant amount of green money without accountability or care for the repercussions. It is time for greed to step aside and green to take over.
The first thing comes to my mind is the color green, then I think about trees, forest, chirping birds, a clean environment, fresh air and water. Green is the symbol of life. We heard about green chemistry, green nanotechnology; we increase our awareness toward a green environment; we care about life, and we are finding ways to save the earth, the resources for our future.
Green being sustainability. For example a lot of green chemistry right now surrounds around the use of water as solvent as opposed to harsh chemicals. This makes disposal less harmful, and can sometimes be reused if the water is processed right for other reactions. However, this is not necessarily sustainable.
A different way to think of green is the use of chemistry (and all sciences for that matter) to better aid in the sustainability of our society - not necessarily the sustainability of our labs and or environment. I mean this in the sense of research or lab experiments evaluating the idea of dye-sensitized solar cells and how they compare to the conventional methods. In a case of your lab for green chemistry, you can evaluate the metal-ligand complexes and their interaction to better understand the underlying chemistry involved in this "green" chemistry (solar cells to reduce the amount of energy used).
A different idea is the creation and use of biodiesel. It is an easy process and can be reproduced in the lab, even using spent oils from campus (incorporating the idea of sustainability and "greeness"). Measuring different physical parameters can lead to insight how biodiesel say from fast food from off campus, compares to 100% used sunflower oil (or something other variation). Particularly, is there anything from the cooking process that degrades the oils, and are some oils better than others?
The term green indicates balance, peace, and faith in a clean healthier safer future .
When I think about "being green", I think of my car. It is green, dark satin green to be exact. I sure do love driving that car. That is why I am constantly adjusting the fuel map to get better ratios such that I can reach better combustion levels optimizing for efficacy. This in turn leads to more sustainable driving through reduced use in fuel and reduced emissions. I like to keep her in good repair. The longer the life cycle of the car the less of an impact on the environment. To make a new car takes a tremendous amount of energy and resources. So, if I replaced my car every 3-5 years as is the idea with the newer cars design, the sustainability of my driving would take a sharp dive for the worse. I also like to purchase goods made in America for my car. The manufacturing facilities in the States are held to strict guidelines to reduce environmental impacts. The facilities over seas do not have these guidelines in place, let alone follow them. Then there is the cost of shipping the items in terms of fuel. By buying American, or buying finnish made products when I lived in Finland, I helped to reduce these energy expenditures and keep sustainability at a maximum.
I also think of kermit. It ain't easy being green .
Well, let me tell you this:
Green can be green energy. It can be biomass that can be converted to biofuel. Green energy can be removal of hazardous substance. Presently, I am working on conversion of biomass to biofuel. The waste is a type of biomass which can be treated as a fuel. Although it is useful, nowadays non-company cares about biomass!!!
"Green" has become a buzzword that has come to encompass a great many things in the recent years. I first started hearing the word as referring to "natural", but as an aspiring scientist I found this rather ambiguous. The way I think of it today is a descriptor encompassing ideas of sustainability, low negative environmental impact, and the reversal of past negative effects on the environment cased directly or indirectly by humans.
"Green" solutions are answers to problems that not only address the immediate problem, but also take care to minimize future problems regarding the environment, human heath, agricultural systems, and wildlife.
To me when I hear the word green what I think of are green soccer fields and being outside. To me green first and foremost relates back to nature and being outside. From there I think of why the plants have a green shade to them, what resources they use to grow and how to ensure they continue to have those resources so that other people get a chance to play in green colored soccer fields like I did.