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National Pollution Prevention Week

Posted on September 16, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

It may feel like it’s National Heatwave Week here in Southern California, but it is actually National Pollution Prevention Week. Pollution affects our water, our food supply, our climate and our air quality every week, not just the third week of September.

What can we do to prevent pollution right now–this very day?

Conserve Energy–Emissions from power plants add a huge amount of pollution to the air. The less energy we use, the less pollution we produce as a society. It’s easy to think about how much running the air conditioner at a low temperature costs on our electric bill, but how much is it costing our planet and our health?

Recycle–Plastic does not degrade. Putting in the trash is putting it in a landfill or the ocean. There’s an island of plastic the size of the State of Texas out in the Pacific ocean. Don’t add to it, recycle everything you can.

Use Greener Products–The chemicals you use to clean your house go down the drain and into the environment. Phosphate-free has been the rule for many years, but there are still ingredients in our cleaning products that harm the environment. There are alternatives–give them a try.

Clean up after your dog–Back when “pooper-scooper” laws were new, you really had to think ahead. Now many cities provide waste bags in public spaces so you have no excuse at the park or on the bike path. Be considerate of your neighbors, too, and use biodegradable bags.

Don’t let your car leak fluids–Do you see a patch of oil or other fluid where you typically park your car? Those fluids are going down the storm drains and into the environment. Fix any leaks promptly.

Put in Native Plants–Grass lawns are water hogs. Research the plants native to your area and use them for landscaping to save water and storm runoff.

Go to the Car Wash–Rather than wash the car yourself in the driveway, use a commercial car wash. It’s more expensive in cash up front, but saves lots of water and the environment from soap.

Drive less–Walk, bike, take public transportation. Cars make pollution, full stop.

We’re having a hard time turning off the air conditioning this week, but the weather is supposed to break tonight. I’m going to try turning up the thermostat and make dinner in the crock pot instead of the oven. How about you?

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