Sept. 15-21 Is Pollution Prevention Week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joins organizations throughout the United States in celebrating National Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 15-21.

Pollution Prevention or P2 means not creating pollution in the first place. It focuses on reducing waste at its source, reusing what can’t be reduced, and recycling what otherwise would be thrown away.

P2 week provides an opportunity to emphasize and highlight pollution prevention and sustainability activities in business, government, and organizations.

“Pollution prevention has grown from a good idea many years ago to one of the principal ways our country protects the environment. As a result, our land, air and water are cleaner and safer,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

EPA estimated that each individual generates about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year, which equates to about 4.5 pounds per person, per day. Whether you are a student, a parent, a small business owner, or a corporate leader, EPA encourages everyone to make pollution prevention part of your daily life. Here are some ways to help:

At Home:

• Adjust the heat or air conditioning at night and when you are away.

• Keep filters clean to ensure HVAC equipment works more efficiently.

• Turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use, install sensors where appropriate.

• When you purchase electronics and appliances look for the Energy Star label and buy the most energy efficient items possible to meet your needs.

• Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

• Increase the amount of insulation in your home to reduce heat loss.

• Do not mow your lawn or fill your gas tank on Ozone Action Days.

• Minimize water use by purchasing EPA WaterSense-designated toilets, faucets, and shower heads.

• Purchase products in bulk with minimal packaging.

• Limit fertilizers and pesticides, especially near lakes and streams.

• Recycle.

At School:

• Help start a recycling program.

• Perform a waste audit at your school.

• Use only recycled paper and other recycled products.

• Maintain heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy using equipment, to reduce the amount of energy used.

• Install energy efficient lighting.

• Start an Eco-Club or form a pollution prevention team.

At Work:

• Install energy saving lights.

• Ride a bike, carpool, walk, or take mass transportation to work -Use reusable lunch containers.

• Use a copier that prints on both sides of the paper to reduce paper use.

• Use only recycled paper.

• Recycle toner cartridges and printer materials.

• Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/region3/p2/.

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