Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrates Pollution Prevention Week – the third week in September – to highlight ways the agency is working with an array of organizations to prevent pollution right from the start. The 2015 week-long observance is particularly important since it marks the 25th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, the law which established the national policy that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible.
“We celebrate Pollution Prevention Week to recognize people and organizations who are successfully preventing pollution to reduce their environmental footprint, and to remind others that we all can choose to do one small thing for a healthier environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Compared to 25 years ago, more businesses, industries, communities and families are seeing the health and economic benefits of reducing waste and using energy and other natural resources more wisely.”
EPA estimates that each individual generates about 1.67 tons of solid waste per year, which equates to about 4.62 pounds per person each day. Whether you are a student, a parent, a small business owner or a corporate leader, everyone can help.
These tips can help you prevent pollution:
• Ride a bike, carpool, walk, or take mass transportation to work or school.
• Buy school supplies wrapped with minimal packaging; or buy products that come in bulk sizes. Packaging accounts for more than 30 percent of all the waste generated each year.
• Use re-useable lunch containers bags rather than paper or plastic.
• Practice Safe Take-out – Say NO to extra napkins, plastic-ware and condiments.
• Help start a recycling program at school or at work.
• 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.
• Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
• When you purchase electronics and appliances look for the ENERGYSTAR label and buy the most energy efficient items possible to meet your needs.
• Purchase products in bulk with minimal packaging.
• Save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in your home, yard, and business and taking simple steps to save water each day.
For more information on Pollution Prevention Week and other ways you can prevent pollution every day, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/p2week.