Green Cleaning for Schools Keeps Kids Healthy!
The color green is usually associated with living things… plants, trees, grass
By offering green cleaning services to schools, you are providing more than simply sanitized surfaces. You’re using more natural and plant-based ingredients that provide a safer environment for students’ little fingers and faces. You’re also doing your part to protect the future world that these kids will grow up into! Administrators that realize the importance of these benefits will value the services you provide in the halls of their schools.
Green Is My Favorite Color
According to former U.S. President Barack Obama’s Executive Order No. 13514, “Green cleaning means the use of those products and services that have a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.”
Green cleaning for schools may mean that the products your cleaning company utilized are phosphate free, void of artificial fragrances or artificial colors, or do not contain chemicals like chlorine. Using green cleaning products for schools and other high-touch locations is a good idea because it serves to reduce the physical interactions that the kids (and teachers!) have
Some green cleaning products may be identified by a “low VOC” or “no VOC” indicator on the label. This means that the product has a lower concentration of volatile organic compounds. VOCs are gases that are emitted from thousands of different solids and liquids. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies a wide range of products that are sources of dangerous VOCs, which in part includes:
- Paints, paint strippers and other solvents
- Wood preservatives
- Aerosol sprays
- Cleansers and disinfectants
- Moth repellents and air fresheners
Chemicals Don’t Just Clean…
As the EPA explains, “As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed.”
According to the Cleaning Supplies and Your Health report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the chemicals found in common cleaning products can have many negative impacts, including contributing to asthma, cancer and increased birth defects.
Additional negative potential side effects can include:
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
- Damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system
- Conjunctival irritation
- Allergic skin reactions
- Fatigue and dizziness
Finding Green Cleaning Products
There are many resources online regarding finding good green cleaning solutions for your business. But to make it easier for you to find green cleaning products, you can often simply look at labels.
To help identify products that meet the EPA’s standard for chemicals, the organization offers a Design for the Environment program that marks appropriate product packaging with the DfE (Design for the Environment) label. You can also find products with third-party certifications, including Green Seal, Safer Choice
Teaching Healthy Environmental Habits
In a school setting, children are learning facts, figures, information
Many schools and educators desire to teach the next generation the value of taking the environment into consideration when making daily decisions. So, while it may be slightly outside your comfort zone, an extra service-added when promoting your services to schools could include offering to occasionally volunteer to provide short educational opportunities for students to discuss what it means to “go green” in this industry.
You could share engaging and age-appropriate information on various topics, such as:
- Choosing to use cleaning products from “green brands” – manufacturers that make products in ways that are healthy for the environment
- Using cleaners that are biodegradable to prevent excessive waste production, and how using recycled packaging impacts the world around us
- What it means to use products that are grown organically or via sustainable farming practices
- How producers of items that are certified as “fair trade” must live up to certain environmental and labor standards
Familiarize yourself and your cleaning staff on these and other related topics. They present valuable marketing information when promoting your green cleaning services to other potential customers, as well!
Green Cleaning for Schools is SMART!
Green cleaning encourages users to practice cleaning methods that help protect your own health and the health of the individuals interacting with those clean surfaces. This is typically accomplished by choosing natural, often plant-based cleaning products, rather than harsh chemicals. However, green cleaning can also indicate the reduction of waste or products that can harm the environment.
No matter how you approach the idea of green cleaning for schools, it’s a win-win!
For a FREE demo of a commercial cleaning software designed to help you keep track of your green cleaning supply usage, schedule your well-trained cleaning professionals, gain insightful reporting on how your business is performing, get bidding assistance, and so much more, contact Janitorial Manager today!