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Going green

Widener’s recent signing of the Green Chemistry Commitment shows the institution’s dedication to making an environmental difference. It also reflects an ongoing passion on the part of Widener faculty and students.

“I always try my best to ‘green up’ my lab,” said Caitlin Lester, a senior chemistry major from Ridley Park, Pa. She is focused on how much waste is involved in experiments, and curbing use of harsh solvents. “I’m always looking for ways to reduce the solvents in our reactions,” she said.

Widener is the first university in Pennsylvania to sign the Green Chemistry Commitment, becoming the 18th college or university to do so.

Dr. Loyd Bastin, associate professor and chair of chemistry, said that sustainability efforts are becoming increasingly important in chemistry labs and classrooms, and companies in the field are dedicating themselves more and more to changing products and processes to be less harmful to the environment.

“I think it prepares students for that,” Bastin said of the Green Chemistry Commitment. “That’s the future of the chemical industry.”