CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In recognition of National Pollution Prevention Week this week, Sept. 21-27, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging residents to learn how to prevent pollution at home, work and school.
Adopting Pollution Prevention (P2) strategies not only helps protect the environment, but can also improve health and reduce energy costs. This year’s national P2 Week theme is “Right from the Start,” and it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act.
There are tons of “green” tips available online and elsewhere, but here are a few to get you started:
At Home –
• Use reusable grocery and shopping bags.
• Install a programmable thermostat to adjust the heat or air conditioning at night or when you’re not home.
• Replace lightbulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents (CFLs) or Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
• Do not mow your lawn or fill your gas tank on Ozone Action Days.
• Minimize water use by purchasing efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads.
• Recycle plastics, glass, aluminum, newspaper, used oil, tennis shoes, eye glasses, cell phones, electronic equipment, remodeling construction wastes, etc.
• Buy local whenever possible because it not only supports the local economy, it also reduces transportation emissions.
• Increase the amount of insulation in your home to reduce heat loss and save on energy bills.
• When replacing appliances, look for energy-efficient models.
At Work –
• Carpool, bicycle, walk or take public transportation whenever possible.
• Start or support an office recycling program for paper, toner cartridges, etc.
• Look into the installation of energy saving lights, or add timers or motion sensors.
• Print on both sides of the paper to reduce paper use.
• Use green cleaning materials.
• Bring your own washable coffee mug, water bottle and utensils instead of using paper, plastic or Styrofoam products.
• Do a waste audit to reduce expenses.
At School –
• Maintain heater, air conditioners, refrigerators and other equipment to reduce the energy used.
• Print copies on both sides of each sheet of paper.
• Start or support a school recycling program for juice boxes, paper, cardboard, etc.
• Use washable dishes in the cafeteria.
• Purchase green products.
• Plant trees to increase shade, lower energy costs and to teach children about how trees clean the air.
For more information about Pollution Prevention Week, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s P2 site: http://www2.epa.gov/p2week
. Also check out DEP’s “40 Things That You Can Do to Green the Planet” here: dep.wv.gov/sustainablewv/Pages/GoingGreenPoll.aspx
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov
. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.