Most people are familiar with Earth Day, but do you know about Pollution Prevention (P2) Week? From September 19-25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will recognize the efforts of the Agency, its partners and the public in preventing pollution across the country.
P2 Week is a time to reflect on the decisions we make and the actions we take every day throughout the year – not just during one week in September or on Earth Day. There are many ways to prevent pollution – save energy and water, reduce waste, and reduce the amount of chemicals we use in our daily lives.
EPA has several programs to help you make greener choices. Design for the Environment(DfE), Energy Star, and WaterSenseare all programs designed to help consumers, institutions, and businesses identify products that are safer, more energy efficient, or more water efficient. There is also a new EPA web site on greener products at http://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/.
During P2 Week, sign up with Earth Day Network and pledge your act of green. Or if you are a college student you can sign up with the U.S. EPA OnCampus EcoAmbassador Program.
EPA is responsible for carrying out the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, which established the national policy that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible. P2 includes modifying industrial production processes; using less-toxic substances in manufacturing processes and products; using conservation techniques; and reusing materials. EPA works with federal, state and local governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and the public to prevent pollution through a variety of voluntary initiatives and partnerships.
Preventing pollution offers important economic benefits by avoiding the need for spending money on waste management and clean-up. It can also help reduce illnesses and healthcare costs resulting from exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals and pollutants.
P2 and What We Docan make a difference and help achieve a healthier and more sustainable world for our families and the future.
For more information on P2 Week, see http://www.epa.gov/p2week/
Matt Bogoshian is the U.S. EPA’s Senior Policy Counsel at the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. He provides advice and analysis on a range of program and policy initiatives involving pollution prevention and sustainability.