Pollution Prevention Week, September 17 - 23, 2012
P2 at Home and on the Road
In your home, car and garden — these web sites and publications can help you make a difference .
- At Home
- Your yard and garden
- Your Car
How can I find safer products for my family and my community?
EPA Greener Products web site is designed to help you navigate the complex world of greener products. It allows you to search for EPA programs related to greener products and links to additional greener products information from other sources.
EPA's Design for the Environment's (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program has recognized 2500 products that are safer for people and the planet
How can I make my home more energy efficient and support cleaner electricity?
ENERGY STAR features energy efficient choices that can save families about a third on their home energy bills without sacrificing style or comfort.
Green Power Locator - find out about green power options in your area! You can choose how your electricity is generated by using EPA's Power Profiler. Green power technologies capture renewable energy to create electricity.
How can I reduce the amount of garbage I generate?
Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year. Reducing consumption, reusing items, and recycling products and materials help to protect the environment. EPA offers you information on how to prevent waste, reduce consumption, and reuse dozens of items.
The Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste
Learn about practical steps you can take to reduce the amount and toxicity of your garbage.
Recycle City Web Site - helps you learn about and explore how residents in this make-believe city are protecting their environment.
Reutilización + reciclaje + reduccion de desechos (PDF) (32 pp, 6.9MB, About PDF)
How do I reduce household hazardous wastes?
Household Hazardous Waste
Learn how you can reduce the amount of household hazardous waste you generate and ensure that those wastes are safely stored and handled.
Your yard and garden
How can I save water and reduce polluted run-off from my yard?
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off your driveway or sidewalk.
Cut your grass at least three inches high to shade the roots, making it more drought tolerant; keep your mower sharp for the healthiest grass.
Try to water only in the evening or very early morning to minimize evaporation.
Use porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and walkways.
Collect storm water in rain gardens and rain barrels.
Only Use What's Needed! If you use fertilizer, use a slow-release type no more than twice per year.
Use Native Plants
Landscaping with native plants This web site describes landscaping with native plants. Use drought-tolerant plants and grasses for landscaping and reduce grass-covered areas.
Landscaping with Native Plants shows how to use native plants to lower water and pesticide needs.
USDA Local Cooperative Extension System Offices: to find out what nutrients your lawn needs, test the soil through your local USDA Cooperative Extension System Office or home kit. Only Use What's Needed! If you use fertilizer, use a slow-release type no more than twice per year.
Pesticides: Controlling Pests - Lawn and Garden Read the Label on any and all pesticides you use to be sure you use them properly.
Integrated Pest Management is an effective strategy to prevent pest damage.
Water-Efficient Landscaping: Preventing Pollution & Using Resources Wisely (PDF) (20 pp, 1.63M, About PDF). Conserve water by mulching and by using a soaker hose or drip system. Install a drip-irrigation water system for valuable plants.
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Native Landscapes (PDF) (28 pp, 302KB, About PDF). Using native plantings instead of lawn grasses will help filter and retain water locally due to deeper root systems thereby reducing runoff.
Greenscaping Your Lawn and Garden (PDF) (8 pp., 958KB, About PDF). EPA's GreenScapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping. Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution, GreenScapes encourages companies, government agencies, other entities, and homeowners to make more holistic decisions regarding waste generation and disposal and the associated impacts on land, water, air, and energy use.
How can I save money while helping the environment?
Think about giving your car a day off. Consider transportation alternatives such as mass transit, car pooling, bicycling, and telecommuting. By leaving your car at home two days a week, you can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds per year.
Don't top off the gas tank. This allows harmful chemicals to escape into the air.
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
Drive the speed limit; avoid high speeds. You can improve your gas mileage about 15 percent by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph. Tips to Save Gas and Improve Mileage (PDF) (2 pp, 19.8KB, About PDF)
Using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil can improve your gas mileage. Buy motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
Keep your car tuned up and the tires properly inflated to save on fuel costs. Keeping tires properly inflated and wheels aligned reduces tire drag on the road. Gas mileage drops 1% for every pound of air below the recommended tire pressure.
Saving Money at the Pump. Regardless of the make or model, your car’s estimated gas mileage depends on how you fuel, drive and maintain your car.
Fuel Economy.gov has tips on how to save money on fuel costs.
You may be surprised to know that you have cleaner, more fuel-efficient choices in any vehicle size you need, even SUVs, trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles. Check out EPA's Green Vehicle Guide and Green Vehicle Guide - Frequently Asked Questions.
Do you drive a 1996 or newer car or light truck? If so, it is equipped with OBD an advanced "on-board" computer system responsible for monitoring your vehicle's engine, transmission, and emissions control components. This light, and the OBD system behind it, can save you time and money by identifying minor problems before they become major repair bills. Learn more.
If you change your own motor oil, recycle it at a "quick lube" shop, gas station, or auto store that accepts used motor oil for recycling. Collecting Used Oil for Recycling/Reuse: Tips for Consumers Who Change Their Own Motor Oil and Oil Filters (PDF) (8 pp, 217KB, About PDF)
Clean Cars -- Clean Air: A Consumer Guide to Auto Emission Inspection and Maintenance Programs. Part of the cost of a modern car is its pollution control system, find out why this system is so important.