Happy P2 Week (Sept. 20-26)!

National Pollution Prevention (P2) Week is in full swing, and it’s a great time to consider and celebrate what your organization or business, and you as an individual, are doing to prevent pollution in the first place. Promoting the idea of eliminating waste before it is even created is obviously one of the major objectives of organizations like the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR).

This year is particularly special, because it marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing of the Federal Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), which established the national policy that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible. According to the U.S. EPA’s Pollution Prevention (P2) home page, “Pollution prevention (P2) is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.” The best way to solve a problem is to revise your actions to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. Pollution prevention not only protects the environment and public health, it also conveys economic benefits in terms of increased efficiency and lessening the financial burden associated with waste disposal, toxic clean up, and other liability issues.

The following links will help you learn more about P2 Week and some of this year’s celebrations. I encourage you to share what you and/or your organization is doing for P2 Week in the “Comments” section of this post.The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) provides general information about P2 Week on its web site, along with providing posters to promote the week. Each year during P2 Week NPPR presents the MVP2 Awards to the most valuable pollution prevention programs, a P2 publication of the year, a P2 “champion” and a P2 volunteer of the year. Those are actually being awarded today in Washington, D.C., and I’ll be posting about the winners in the near future, so stay tuned!

The U.S. EPA is featuring the 20th anniversary of the PPA on its home page, along with links to information on what you can do to make a difference at home and in the garden; at work and on the road; for industry; and in local government. A press release regarding the PPA’s anniversary is also available. The EPA also has a page devoted to P2 Week, which includes information on webinars occurring during the week, focusing on water efficiency for hotels, the environmental and health impacts of personal care products, and greening your business.  This page also features “soundbites” from Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), on ways to help participate in P2 Week. The EPA’s Greenversations blog also features a post on P2 Week. (Thanks to Beth Anderson for sharing these links.)

Indiana is hosting the 13th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show this week, starting tomorrow. Each day during P2 Week, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is publishing a press release on how to prevent pollution in various aspects of your life, including practicing P2 at home, schools, businesses, in the community and at meetings (in that order during P2 week). See the IDEM press release page for links to the specific press releases. (Thanks to Jennifer Schick for sharing this P2 Week activity with GLRPPR.)

GLRPPR’s sister Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) center, the Western Sustainability Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) is partnering with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to host the Pollution Prevention Week 2010 Video Contest. See the DTSC web site for details and watch the submitted videos here. The contest’s theme is “What if everyone took one small action to reduce their environmental impact?” There’s still time to submit video responses through October 15, 2010. You can also respond to the question “What small change do you think will have a big, positive impact on the environment?” on the blog of Donna Walden, Regional Coordinator for WSPPN. (Thanks to Donna Walden for sharing these activities.)

So how are you celebrating P2 Week? Share your activities and thoughts by leaving a comment.

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