Environmental Health and Safety

Pollution Prevention Ideas

Pollution prevention begins at home. Celebrate National Pollution Prevention Week in September by incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine in the following areas. You may find they not only save energy, reduce waste, and preserve our natural resources — they may also save you money.

In your Kitchen

  • Install a faucet aerator.
  • Use cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper.
  • Make sure your dishwater is full before running it.
  • Wash out and reuse freezer bags and aluminum foil.
  • Store food items in reusable containers.
  • Use washable cloth rags instead of paper towels.
  • Buy unbleached coffee filters. Or buy a reusable one.

In your Bathroom

  • Rub-a-dub-dub more quickly. Take shorter showers.
  • Install low-flow shower heads.
  • Use less water when brushing those pearly whites. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  • Make your showers do double duty. Hang clothes in the bathroom while showering to steam wrinkles out.
  • Install a toilet dam to reduce the amount of water you flush away.

In your Laundry Room

  • Make your purchasing dollars count. When shopping for a washer and dryer, buy an energy-efficient, low-water model.
  • Clean your clothes dyer's lint trap after every load.
  • Give your dryer a vacation by hanging your clothes to dry.
  • Use a phosphate-free detergent.
  • Turn down your water heater to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, especially during the summer.
  • If you have a baby, use cloth diapers instead of disposables.

At the Grocery Store

  • Consolidate shopping outings; cut down on trips to pick up one forgotten item.
  • Buy grocery items in bulk.
  • Buy eggs in cardboard cartons instead of plastic foam cartons.
  • When possible, buy organic.
  • Buy items with less packaging.
  • Tote your goods in style. Use canvas bags to carry your groceries.
  • Look for less toxic alternatives to household cleaning products.

All around the House

  • Turn off lights and televisions when not in use.
  • Turn your thermostat up when you are out during the day.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with high energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.
  • Don't let energy go out the window (or door). Make sure your rooms are well insulated and doors to the outside are not left standing open.

In your Yard

  • Water your lawn in the early morning or in the evening.
  • Xeriscape and use water-saving native plants.
  • Leave your grass clipping on the lawn.
  • Compost fruit and vegetable scraps.

Information brought to you by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality