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Protect the Environment at Home, at School, at Work

Release Date: 9/21/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA –This year, pollution prevention week is September 20 - 26.
Pollution Prevention week is the perfect time to try a new pollution prevention activity
at home, at school, or at work.

“Businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause –
to prevent pollution. Pollution prevention means reducing the amount of waste or toxicity in processes or products you use. Pollution prevention can help businesses be more competitive, individuals realize cost savings, and enhance environmental quality,” said Donald S. Welsh,
mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

Here are some examples from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, a non-profit organization devoted solely to pollution prevention, for you to help reduce waste and prevent pollution:

    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 ammonia-based all-purpose cleaners.
*Purchase products with minimal packaging.
*Use little or no fertilizer or pesticides, especially near lakes and streams.
      *Recycle plastics, glass, aluminum, styrofoam, 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.

    At work:
      *Carpool, bicycle, walk, or take mass transportation to work.
      *Use reusable lunch containers instead of paper and plastic bags.
      *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.
      *Look into installing energy saving lights.
      *Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies.
At school:
*Pack kids lunches in reusable containers instead of disposable brown and plastic bags.
    *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 washable dishes in the cafeteria.
*Use non-mercury-containing thermometers.
*Start an Eco-Club or form a pollution prevention team.

To learn more about pollution prevention check out EPA’s website at