As Benjamin Franklin instructed us, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In the case of chemicals, an ounce of prevention could save countless pounds of chemical waste, thousands of dollars from expensive disposal and chemical accidents, and most importantly, the health and physical safety of our school children, teachers and communities.
Undeniably, preventing a problem in the first place is the best solution. The first way to ensure pollution prevention (P2) efforts are achieved is to create a policy focused on P2. Often P2 plans minimize costs for schools while also minimizing the risks associated with chemicals.
This Toolkit offers ideas, information, and links to an assortment of potential pollution prevention alternatives, including:
- Reducing types and quantities of hazardous chemicals
- Widely used and accepted options to traditional science labs: including:
- Microscale Chemistry: focuses on utilizing small quantities of chemicals that limit storage needs and waste without compromising the quality of the education
- Green Chemistry: focuses on using chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.
- Safer products for use by custodial personnel, in auto and wood shops, and in art, science and photography classrooms
- Alternatives to traditional purchasing methods (i.e. one-year purchasing plan; chemical substitutions etc.)
In addition to pollution prevention/alternative option checklists found within the Depatment-Specific sections, and alternatives listed in the sector Inventory worksheets, helpful files can be found in each individual section of the Toolkit:
- Principles of Green Chemistry
- Principles of Microscale Chemistry