This section identifies stewardship strategies that reduce pollution for both new and established schools.
Pollution prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source. P2, also known as "source reduction," is the ounce-of-prevention approach to waste management. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of. Less pollution means fewer hazards posed to public health and the environment.
There are many opportunities for pollution prevention when designing sustainable schools. Pollution prevention opportunities can be found at any stage of the school design process, including HVAC, purchasing, landscaping, operations, and transportation
There are many long-term benefits to pollution prevention practices. These include saving money, as well as improving the health and environment of students, staff, and the community.
Community and school members of the planning team should:
It is important to identify community resources to help with the project. These include expertise, funding, information, and labor. Depending upon where you live, these can come from a variety of sources that include local, state, and federal government. Large industries discovered the value of sustainable design and may have staff (and also parents of students in your schools) to help guide your process.
Universities, non-governmental organizations, and not-for-profit groups may also be beneficial. Pollution prevention teams within state government or at universities will prove extremely valuable. More resources are available in the "Key Contacts" section of this topic hub.
The following table illustrates only a few examples of potential pollution areas and P2 options.
|Area of School||Stewardship Issue||Possible Actions|
|Construction materials||High transportation costs for non-local materials and excessive construction waste||
Use of non-recyclable materials for food service
|Locker rooms||Molds, viruses, bacteria, airborne allergens||
|Parking lot||Pollutant runoff from parking lots to local watershed||
|Energy use||Inefficient HVAC, appliances, lighting, and windows||
|Chemical management||Health and safety of students and staff||