What Is Pollution Prevention?

Pollution prevention -- also called source reduction -- means eliminating the production of pollutants before they enter the environment, rather than cleaning them up or hauling them away after they have been produced.

Pollution prevention can be as simple as reaching for a sponge instead of a paper towel, or as complex as redesigning a product so that less packaging is required. By becoming aware of what we buy and throw away, we can make choices that reduce our impact on the environment.

Pollution prevention can save businesses and consumers money while protecting human health and the enviroment. As Benjamin Franklin wisely observed, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."


The Montana Pollution Prevention Program has designed the EcoStar program to recognize businesses in Montana that have taken significant steps to reduce waste. By supporting EcoStar businesses, you can help prevent pollution in Montana.

Look for the EcoStar window decal at your favorite store or call the Montana Pollution Prevention Program for a list of EcoStar businesses in your area.

Pollution Prevention Tips

Here are some tips you can use to prevent pollution in your home, around your office, and at your local store.

  • Purchase concentrates, larger sized container, or products in bulk
  • Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery
  • Select products with the least wasteful packaging
  • After you've read a magazine, pass it on to a friend or give it to a nursing home, hospital, or library
  • Substitute reusable items for disposable ones
  • Reuse bags, containers, boxes, paper, glass jars, and other items
  • Consolidate errands so you end up driving less
  • Purchase products that can be recycled and be sure to recycle them
  • Buy products made from recycled materials
  • Compost yard waste and food waste to use as garden mulch
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Substitute less hazardous cleaners and solvents around the house
  • Remove nails and hardware from old lumber so it can be reused
  • Borrow or rent things you use infrequently
  • Buy, sell, or donate used goods such as clothes, furniture, and appliances
  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
  • Use energy-efficient lighting
  • Fix water leaks right away
  • Insulate your water heater
  • Install low flow faucet aerators and showerheads
  • Express your preferences for less waste to merchants and politicians

Montana Pollution Prevention Program

The Montana Pollution Prevention Program is part of the Montana State University Extension. Our staff provides free technical assistance to help businesses reduce the amount of waste they generate. We also have a library of pollution prevention materials available for loan to consumers and business owners.

(406) 994-4292
Home page:http://www.mtp2.org

For More Information
Call toll-free in Montana (888) 678-6872 or (406) 994-3451
Contact Jenny Grossenbacher if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.