Keeping Children Healthy: Green Cleaning for Schools
“Going Green” isn’t a new concept. Environmentalists have been trying to regulate cleaning products and companies for a long time, but in our current cultural climate, going green seems to have garnered more popularity and concern than ever before. There are green initiatives going on everywhere – from banning plastic drinking straws to the dramatic increase in using reusable containers for everything. There is definitely a legitimate concern about cleaning products being used in public areas, especially when it comes to our children.
It’s for the Kids
Anyone who owns, runs, or works for a cleaning business understands that the single most important factor in protecting public health is the way a building is cleaned. Green cleaning for schools should be at the top of the priority list for professional cleaning service companies. While green cleaning for schools has always been important, changing your work process (if you haven’t done so already), creating a green cleaning plan, and implementing it with your current workload can be a challenge for some companies.
However, the switch is vitally important. Here are some important statistics: Each school day, more than 60 million students and staff step foot into our nation’s schools, representing 20% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, almost half of them are being exposed to polluted air indoors, including lead, asbestos, pesticides, chemical fumes, molds and other toxins within those schools. The stakes are even higher when occupants in these buildings are younger than 20. Kids are not miniature adults; their bodies are still developing. Kids do things that adults don’t usually do, such as sitting on the floor or putting their hands in their mouths, so their behavior puts them at a greater risk of exposure to toxins. A green cleaning program can help reduce harmful exposure and has a long list of benefits including everything from regulating carbon emissions to boosting test scores.
It’s All Part of the Process
While green cleaning efforts are great, they can’t be one-time, stand-alone activities. Everything has to be incorporated into a solid, comprehensive, and company-wide plan. Green cleaning for schools is more than just purchasing and using green products—it’s about a team approach, with established practices that are followed meticulously, and using products that specifically minimize health risks, reduce pollution, and conserve resources. The good news for cleaning companies is that maintaining a green cleaning approach is fairly simple. The three basic legs of the green cleaning stool are:
- Introduce certified green chemicals into your repertoire and remove harmful products from your inventory. Use products that have:
- Neutral pH levels and no known carcinogens
- Low or no fragrance
- Low or no volatile organic compounds
- Energy and water savings benefits
- Biodegradability and less packaging
- Implement training and procedures that reduce general health risks, accommodate highly susceptible individuals, and reduce environmental impact
- Invest in equipment and technology that increase value and efficiency
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It’s a Viable Option
If you’re looking to ‘go green’, know that it really is a viable option for any cleaning company, especially in today’s culture. Finding products that are certified is easier than ever, implementing training and procedures for your staff is more than possible, and having the right technology to assist you is one click away. Are you using the best tools for your business? If not, Janitorial Manager is the cleaning business management software for you. Give us a call or schedule a free demo today!