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Tips for preventing pollution - Pollution Prevention Week 2006

Release Date: 09/19/2006
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to join organizations throughout the nation in celebrating National Pollution Prevention Week, September 18-24, 2006.

Pollution prevention means not creating pollution in the first place. It primarily involves source reduction - - reducing the amount and toxicity of air, liquid, or solid waste at its source.

“Whether you are a small business owner, a corporate leader, a student or a parent, EPA encourages everyone to make pollution prevention part of your daily life. Pollution prevention practices can help businesses become more competitive and individuals save money,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “It can also help save energy, prevent the emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, encourage the development of greener technologies and conserve resources for future generations.”

According to the Worldwatch Institute, the United States, with less than 5 percent of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources, burning nearly 25 percent of the coal, 26 percent of the oil, and 27 percent of the world’s natural gas. In addition, EPA estimates each individual generates about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year – about 4.5 pounds per person, per day. To help you get started, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, a non-profit organization devoted solely to pollution prevention, suggests:

At Work:
Look into installing 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
Recycle toner cartridges and printer materials
Use reusable cups for coffee and other beverages
Share the benefits of a recycling program with management
Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies

At Home:
Turn down the heat or air conditioning at night
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use - install sensors where appropriate
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent ones
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 efficient toilets, faucets and shower heads
Purchase rechargeable batteries, reducing the amount of trash going into landfills
Buy less toxic cleaning supplies or make your own
(Baking soda and water can be used as an ammonia-based all purpose cleaner).
Purchase products with minimal packaging
Limit fertilizers and pesticides, especially near lakes and streams

          Recycle plastics, glass, newspaper, used motor oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid
Join a food co-op or buy locally
Reuse grocery bags by taking them with you to the store
Pack children’s lunches in reusable containers instead of disposal brown and plastic bags

At School:
          Reduce materials and recycle what is used
Perform a waste audit in the school
          Maintain heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy using equipment, to reduce the amount of energy used
Install energy efficient lighting
Print copies on both sides of each sheet of paper
Use non-mercury-containing thermometers
Start an Eco-Club or form a pollution prevention team

To learn more about pollution prevention visit EPA’s website at www.epa.gov.

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