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At-home pollution prevention tactics can be healthy, reduce energy bills and boost the local economy

Reusable bag containing plastic water bottles for recyclingThis year, the theme of Pollution Prevention (P2) Week is "Preserving our home, right from the start." P2 Week is an opportunity for individuals, schools, communities, and businesses to showcase and share ideas about how they reduce waste, are more efficient, or reduce energy.

The focus is on preventing pollution at home by incorporating activities into daily routines that reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Promoting P2 at home can help the local economy, improve health, and reduce energy costs.

The P2 staff at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has put together handy tips focused on reducing pollution at home:

  • Reduce single-use waste. Choose products that are designed to be reused over single use items - like refillable water bottles, reusable shopping bags, and bees wax wrap. Purchase products with little or no extra packaging.
  • Avoid using fertilizer or pesticides, especially near lakes and streams. Read the label on lawn care products to be sure you use them properly.
  • Reduce food waste. Plan meals for the week, avoid over purchasing, and properly store to extend longevity.
  • Buy local from farmers, businesses, and manufacturers to support local businesses and reduce emissions from transportation.
  • Save energy. Install a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat or air conditioning at night. Replace lights with energy saving LED bulbs. Unplug appliances when not using to avoid energy vampires.
  • Do not mow your lawn or fill your gas tank on Ozone Action Days.
  • Reduce water usage. Plant native species that require little to no watering outdoors. Minimize water use by purchasing efficient toilets, faucets, and shower heads. Reduce shower times.
  • When you do need to dispose, do it properly. Use a household hazardous waste collection site to dispose of hazardous wastes such as batteries, cleaning fluids, paint thinners, pesticides, and mercury items. Recycle plastics, glass, aluminum, newspaper, used oil, tennis shoes, eyeglasses, cell phones, electronic equipment, TVs, remodeling construction wastes, etc.
  • Purchase Safer Choice and Energy Star efficient products.
  • Calculate your household's Carbon Footprint and seek out ways to reduce it.
  • Stay educated. Check out the EGLE Sustainability Series Webinars and EGLE Events to learn more.

For more information on P2, visit the webpage.

Photo caption: Reusable bag containing plastic water bottles for recycling.

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