Does your janitorial closet look like something you wouldn’t want in your kitchen? It might be time for a green cleaning update.
We aren’t here to judge your janitorial closet. Nor should you judge it. Let’s just take that out of the picture. The cleaning industry hasn’t always had many options when it comes to effective products that also happen to be environmentally friendly. You can do a lot with baking soda and vinegar, but when you’re in a commercial cleaning environment, that doesn’t usually cut it. In other words, you didn’t have many options.
Times are different than they were even a few short years ago. Green cleaning products are better, more affordable, and easier to access than they used to be. Customers want environmentally friendly products, and they’re willing to pay more for them. And from a strictly economic standpoint, a sustainable janitorial closet will also save you money.
Going green isn’t the only way to enhance your business. Use Janitorial Manager to monitor jobs, manage inventories, communicate with clients, and more. Check out a free demo to see all the great features!
What does sustainable mean?
There are a few ways to think about sustainability. Perhaps the most common idea is that sustainable products are made with environmentally friendly ingredients or recycled elements. There are other ways to think about sustainability, though.
Using the equipment you already have can be sustainable when comparing it to the materials and energy it takes to make and buy a new item. You can also think about it in social terms. For example, buying your products from a local supplier can help sustain your community by keeping more money in it.
For you, sustainability can mean less waste, which means more of your money stays in your business. It can mean buying in bulk, which often comes with a discount. It can mean feeling better about your business. Best of all, you may already be using green products without realizing it.
It’s makeover time: Let’s make your janitorial closet sparkle and shine
1. Learn to repair your equipment. This one is easy and fun. It’s empowering to fix and maintain your equipment, and it’s more cost-effective than paying someone else to do the repairs for you. One of many possible places to learn these skills is the Cleaning Management Institute, with its online learning subscription.
2. Review your equipment. While repairs are a great way to avoid sending items to the garbage heap, there are times when it’s just not feasible to keep something around. They may be energy wasters or big, bulky items that have seen better days. When the time comes, upgrade to new, energy-efficient models that work with green cleaning products.
3. Reduce waste. Here’s another janitorial closet upgrade that will save you money. You can either use portion-controlled concentrates or reiterate to your team how important it is to use the proper amounts of cleaning products. In either case, you’re probably looking at less waste.
4. Buy in bulk. You may find that you get discounts when you buy in bulk. From a sustainability perspective, however, bulk shipments mean less packaging and fuel for transporting goods.
5. Look for green-certified products. Third-party certification from Green Seal, UL Ecologo, or the EPA’s Safer Choice program indicates that the product is both effective and has a minimal environmental impact.
6. Use recycled products. This is one of those staples of green janitorial closet practices. There are, however, so many recycled products you could be using, from toilet paper to brooms to spray bottles.
7. Limit trash bag replacement. There are some instances where you may not need to replace trash liners. Any container with non-food waste can probably wait until it’s full before it gets emptied. For that matter, you may not even need a plastic liner in receptacles that are primarily for paper waste. You’ll need to work with your clients on this one, but it could significantly reduce the amount of garbage.
8. Plan your routes efficiently. Save gas. Save time. Save on wear and tear. Plan your routes to facilities in a way that makes sense, so you and your team aren’t putting extra miles on the road.
9. Train your team. No matter how much you try to reduce waste and work efficiently, it’s your team that really can make the difference when it comes to sustainable practices. Work with them to ensure they’re comfortable and knowledgeable about sustainable cleaning.
10. Look for grants and other incentives. You may be surprised to discover the number of grants or other environmentally-themed incentives your commercial cleaning company could be eligible for. Whether it’s low-cost loans to convert to solar or grants to fund pilot programs, there might be the right program for you. Look around locally at city and county government initiatives, utility company programs, or organizations focused on conservation.
If it’s been a while since you’ve examined your janitorial closet, supplies, and practices, now is the time. You and your clients will all be happier because of it.
Bid on jobs and more with Janitorial Manager’s custodial management system. Schedule a free demo today to learn more!