Pollution Prevention Week: Making Every Day Earth Day

At EPA we like to say, “Make every day Earth Day.” It’s no stretch to say that millions of Americans are taking steps to prevent pollution by using less toxic substances, conserving resources, reusing materials and taking other simple steps that are good for the economy, people and the planet.

EPA recognizes Pollution Prevention (P2) Week each year during the third week in September, and we’d like to share some of our programs to prevent pollution:

Green Sports – Millions of Americans share a love of sports, but you may not realize that your favorite team is tallying victories of a different sort. Teams, sports facilities, and fans are greening sports by reducing waste, conserving water and energy, and taking other sustainability initiatives.

(left) Steve Phelps; Chief Marketing Officer, NASCAR; (center) Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; (right) Dr. Michael Lynch; and Managing Director of Green Innovation, NASCAR sign an MOU to make NASCAR greener in May 2012, photo credit: NASCAR

Economy, Energy, Environment (E3) – Learn how manufacturers and communities are successfully preventing pollution and adopting sustainable approaches to make a big impact, including cost savings and economic growth, increased competitiveness, and progress toward environmental and climate change goals.

40 NEW Holding Spray BottleDesign for the Environment (DfE) – When buying chemical-based products, look for the DfE label.  This voluntary partnership program helps families choose products containing safer chemicals by allowing safer products to carry the DfE label. There are over 2,500 DfE products that reduce the use of chemicals of concern by hundreds of million pounds each year.


 green_chemistry_logo_clearGreen Chemistry – Learn about the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge. EPA’s Green Chemistry program helps advance and recognize safer, greener chemical technologies that are improving the products we use while reducing environmental impacts everyday. The annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards recognize the best of these technologies and annually eliminate 825 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents, save over 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminate 7.9 billion pounds of carbon pollution into the air.

These are just a few of the exciting programs that are putting P2 into action. At home or work, everyone can take steps to help prevent pollution, keeping our families safe and preserving the planet.

What P2 steps do you take? Share your P2 stories in the comment section below and on Twitter by tweeting to @EPA and using the hashtag #P2Week.  You can also ask questions about safer products on the #SaferProducts @EPA Twitter Chat on September 17th at 2pm ET.

Jim Jones is the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. He is responsible for managing the office which implements the nation’s pesticide, toxic chemical, and pollution prevention laws. Jim’s career with EPA spans more than 26 years. He has an M.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. from the University of Maryland, both in Economics.

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