Pollution Prevention Fact Sheets

Pollution Prevention and You – Energy Efficiency

Pollution prevention, also known as P2, happens when people change their plans, practices and habits in order to reduce the generation of pollution and waste at the source, instead of trying to clean it up after the fact. Pollution prevention also includes activities that protect natural resources (i.e. trees, water) through conservation or more efficient use of resources.

The key to environmental sustainability is thinking globally and acting locally. Pollution prevention is about making smart choices – both in what we buy and in how we use products. It involves looking at the causes of waste and pollution and figuring out how to prevent them.


Eco-efficient home design and maintenance can promote more sustainable lifestyles. Reducing your consumption of energy prevents pollution at the source and saves you money.

Listed below are some tips on how to save energy

  • Turn off the lights, television, computer, and stereo when you leave the room.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient, longerlasting fluorescent bulbs.
  • Only use overhead lights when they are needed. Use lower light levels or task lighting to light up the areas of the room that are being used.
  • Install lighting controls such as dimmers, timers, and sensors.
  • Ensure that light fixtures are washed or wiped down periodically.
  • Check the EnerGuide label when buying large appliances. Purchase an appliance with the lowest rating for energy consumption.
  • Use the energy saver option or shortest cycle necessary on appliances.
  • If possible, line-dry your clothes outside in the summer.
  • Use the microwave for small meals, instead of heating up the oven.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature when you are away during the day and at night.
  • Turn the temperature on your water heater down to approximately 49°C. Most homes do not need extremely hot water.
  • Turn off the water heater when you are on vacation.
  • Ensure that windows and door frames are sealed properly to prevent heat from escaping in winter or cool air in summer.
  • Change or clean furnace filters regularly to ensure that the furnace runs efficiently. Your furnace should also be serviced once a year.
  • Keep the coils in the back of your refrigerator clean to increase efficiency.
  • If redecorating, select lighter colours of paints, carpets, and tiles. Lighter colours will reduce the need for electric lighting, because more light will be reflected and distributed throughout the room.

Want to know more?

Visit the Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse for additional sources of pollution prevention information.

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