WHAT IS GREEN OR ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING
You would be surprised at how many companies and homes that are full of toxins, suffer from poor air quality or, are shy of a few points of being in violation of standards or compliance. The problem? Their cleaning products and cleaning service.
Though often overlooked, the cleaning products and solutions that are used have affecting adverse health consequences on employees, customers, and even family members. The chemicals found in common cleaning products can have many negative impacts, from contributing to asthma, cancer, birth defects, and long-term overall negative health issues according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) and Green Seal.
How significant can the change to green cleaning be to your environment? Consider this feedback from one of our clients:
"We have completed the process of switching over our cleaning supplies and clearing out the custodial closets. I have heard great feedback from the custodians about the new products! One custodian said she used to always get a rash from the other products and she has seen that go away since we switched.”
Don’t underestimate the impact of removing toxins from your interior environment.
First and foremost, GREEN cleaning is a lifestyle choice, but also the process of choosing cleaning products and services that are better for both people and the planet.
Switching to GREEN cleaning is probably one of the smartest decisions you can make as a homeowner, a family person, or as a business manager or owner. It's not only good for your health and wellbeing and the people you cohabitat or work with, there's also many economic and social benefits.
In an ideal world, we would easily be able to tell which products are toxic and which ones are best for the built environment and for people and the planet. However, the reality of things are, most people find assessing cleaning products and practices as something mundane instead of an opportunity to create a sound, healthy and productive environment. Environmental control, in a sustainable manner, is good decision making.
The primary areas of focus when considering greening your environment are:
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Did you know that the use of conventional cleaning products contributes to some of the highest air pollution standards? Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with a host of health problems like damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, are released when products are used and stored and can also linger in the air long after use. With the hyper-modernization of facilities, ventilation, and other systems which air particulates travel, air pollution is top of the list for all sorts of health issues.
Manufacturers of cleaning products aren’t required by the U.S. government to divulge ingredients; however, many green cleaning manufacturers make it their policy to be fully transparent, whereas some conventional manufacturers don't and may only list a portion of their ingredients.
Having indoor plants is one of the greenest and fastest ways to detoxify your environment. Not only do plants instantly liven up a space and add a natural value, but plants also have an air-purifying effect and constantly absorb carbon dioxide and many forms of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens, while replenishing the air we breathe. Furthermore, plants also remove VOCs and harmful contaminants from the air to help to keep your atmosphere clean and free of harmful irritants.
The pollutants and toxins found in indoor air can be up to one hundred times more concentrated than the air that’s outside, so plants, removing harmful cleansers, and making the switch to GREEN cleaning is truly one of the easiest ways to keep your environment safe, productive and clean.
Surfaces are another location within all environments which germs can be found. This might give you pause before heating up leftovers for lunch at your place of work: among the dirtiest spots in a typical office are the microwave door and refrigerator door handles, or the break room.
In a new study by Kimberly-Clark Professional and reported on by Time Magazine, researchers swabbed nearly 5,000 surfaces in office buildings housing about 3,000 employees. The offices included law firms, insurance companies, health care companies, call centers and manufacturing facilities.
The swabs were analyzed with an ATP meter, a device commonly used to assess sanitary conditions in industry. It measures levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule found in all animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast and mold cells. High ATP levels are present in food or other organic residues left on surfaces. The more ATP found on a surface, the more likely it’s flourishing with bacteria and viruses.
This is probably the least considered, but over thought processes within the cleaning industry. These days, more and more people and companies push for proper waste management. Improper and illegal waste disposal has caused problems for the environment and the health of individuals. Proper waste management services apply to both rural and urban areas. Because of the risk and impact of accumulated waste and toxins, it has also become essential to educate people about proper waste disposal, from old batteries to cleaning products and all sorts of everyday items we take for granted.
As you can see, environmental health and safety are important and necessary; however, going green isn't a difficult or even outrageous or impractical option. The process, with a little commitment and effort, can have drastic positive outcomes and effects on your immediate environment.