Here's a great overview of the recent 2nd International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, including a run-down on the twelve basic principles of green chemistry:
1. Prevention: It is better to design an industrial process to prevent waste from being created at all than to treat it or to clean it up after it has been created.
2. Atom Economy: Kind of a geeky sounding goal; this principle states that processes should be designed to incorporate as much of the raw materials used in the process into the final product as possible.
6. Design for Energy Efficiency: Processes should be designed to minimize energy use, as this will reduce environmental and economic impacts. This would include designing processes to operate without heating, cooling, or changes in pressure.
10. Design for Degradation: Products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into harmless materials that do not persist in the environment. ...