By Ben Jarvis, Pollution Prevention Projects Coordinator
Each September, DEQ celebrates Pollution Prevention Month. During this time, we remind Idaho citizens, businesses, and local governments of the steps that they can take to reduce pollution and to protect our air, water, and overall quality of life. The best way to reduce waste and other pollution is to avoid producing it in the first place. Pollution prevention (P2) is any activity that reduces or eliminates the creation of pollutants or waste at the source. Instead of trying to manage the wastes or pollutants through treatment or disposal methods, P2 aims to prevent the initial generation or reduce the toxicity of wastes and pollutants such as hazardous waste, air pollutants, solid waste, and wastewater.
From individual actions, such as using alternative transportation, to major business efforts that use process improvement to reduce hazardous waste, DEQ encourages and recognizes positive behavior. Individual actions can go a long way in helping prevent pollution and protect Idaho’s resources and way of life. We have P2 tips for citizens to implement at work, at home, when traveling, or when purchasing goods for your family. Learn more here.
One of the ways we recognize the efforts of business and industry, is through our Pollution Prevention Champions awards. During the third week of September, we recognize businesses and organizations that have made notable achievements in reducing pollution. These businesses include family-run restaurants all the way up to major multinational manufacturers. Many of these case studies are used in outreach to other businesses to demonstrate possibilities for pollution prevention. We encourage you to check out our Pollution Prevention Champions profiles to jumpstart your imagination. You can find past champions on our Pollution Prevention Recognition webpage, and look for our 2016 champions later this month.
If you have questions about P2 efforts at your home or businesses, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pollution Prevention Program is committed to encouraging and empowering Idaho citizens, businesses, schools, and communities to engage in behaviors to protect public health and preserve Idaho's environment.