MSU Extension Calls For Pollution Prevention Award Nominations
February 5, 2020 | View PDF
BOZEMAN - Montana State University Extension is accepting applications and nominations for the annual EcoStar award, which highlights the efforts of small businesses and organizations that embrace and advance pollution prevention as a key component of their business. The deadline for nominations and applications is March 1.
Pollution prevention is any practice that reduces or eliminates pollution at its source, according to Jenny Grossenbacher, MSU Extension's Montana Pollution Prevention Program coordinator. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat or dispose, said Grossenbacher. She added that less pollution means fewer hazards to public health and the environment.
The EcoStar awards, now in their 19th year, recognize Montana small businesses and organizations that are creating more environmentally and economically sustainable communities by reducing solid and hazardous waste, conserving resources such as water, energy and clean air, and serving as role models for the state with their pollution prevention efforts.
Pollution prevention reduces both financial costs, such as those incurred through waste management and cleanup, and environmental costs like health problems and ecosystem damage for individuals and businesses alike, according to Grossenbacher. It protects the environment by conserving natural resources while strengthening economic growth through more efficient production in industry and less need for businesses, households and communities to handle waste, she said.
"We are looking for Montana's business and community leaders that are preserving and prioritizing the health of not only our environment but also our economic resources," Grossenbacher said. "These folks deserve to be honored for their contributions and leadership to the entire region."
According to Grossenbacher, last year's 22 EcoStar award winners represented 18 Montana communities, saved approximately 31 million gallons of water, conserved 179,000 kilowatt hours of energy, reduced 56,000 pounds of hazardous waste and saved $355,172 through their pollution prevention efforts. Gov. Steve Bullock will recognize this year's winners in a ceremony at the Capitol in April.