This year’s pollution prevention week comes just three months after President Barack Obama’s speech at Georgetown University where he outlined his Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution that causes climate change.
In addition to the Climate Action Plan, which outlines a number of common sense steps the administration is taking to reduce carbon pollution like increasing renewable energy and fuel efficiency, there also are a number of steps EPA suggests Americans take to reduce carbon pollution:
Save energy and money – Look for the Energy Star label to find energy efficient electronics and appliances, which can save up to $400 a year per household on energy bills and reduce carbon pollution from power generation.
Find a fuel efficient car – Public transit or biking to your destination makes the most sense for the environment and your pocketbook, but the EPA Green Vehicle Guide can help you choose a more fuel efficient car and reduce air pollution from emissions and save money at the gas pump. The program also certifies fleet vehicles for commercial use.
Pollution Prevention Week focuses on other ways to protect the environment. In addition to reducing carbon pollution, Americans can reduce pollution by:
Saving water – Look for the WaterSense label to find water efficient products, which can save over 5,000 gallons of water per year per household and keep water supplies at safe levels. Lower water levels can contribute to higher concentrations of natural and human pollutants.
Picking safer products – Look for EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Label on more than 2,500 products for home and industrial use. Choosing DfE-labeled products can prevent 40 pounds of potentially harmful chemicals from being released into a home and the environment.
Using pesticides properly – If you need to manage pests in your home or garden, be PestWise; you’ll reduce risk to health and the environment from chemicals and save money with informed strategies.
Helping green the playing field – EPA just launched a new Green Sports Resource Directory to help teams, leagues, facilities and fans green the sports community. Visit the site to learn if your team is going green and check back often because the page continually will be updated with new stats, environmental victories and information.
EPA also maintains the Greener Products Portal to help consumers as well as businesses and institutional buyers identify greener, safer and more efficient products. The portal features all of EPA’s eco-labeling partnership programs, whose standards are based on scientific expertise and use the best available data.
Each year, EPA’s grant-funded pollution prevention programs report reductions in hazardous emissions by hundreds of millions of pounds, save hundreds of millions of gallons of water, save tens of millions of dollars and reduce a million or more metric tons of carbon pollution equivalent that would otherwise contribute to climate change. The savings from new results usually continue for years into the future, so the cumulative impacts of these pollution prevention efforts over time become even more significant.