1. Green clean
Green cleaning practices do more than just make the janitorial industry more ecofriendly. They also help organizations save money and improve the health of everyone who works in a facility. When it comes to schools in particular, green cleaning is a great idea.
2. Important health statistics
- Half of teachers and students are exposed to indoor pollutants such as lead, asbestos, chemical fumes, pesticides, molds, and other toxins at school.
- American kids miss 14 million school days every year, often because of poor air quality and related medical conditions such as asthma.
- 6% of school janitors are injured or made sick on the job by chemical exposure.1
3. Saving green
Green cleaning practices are also useful for saving money and increasing the lifespan of school facilities. When janitorial switches to less harmful, ecofriendly materials, facilities last an average of 10-15 years longer. And one school district in New York was able to save an average of $365,000 every year by switching to green cleaning.1
4. How to adopt green cleaning practices
Adopting green cleaning techniques involves several steps:
- Identify the cleaning needs for the facility, and what will be needed to achieve them. This often requires heavy-duty equipment like floor scrubbers and sweepers.
- Seek out cleaning products (degreasers, disinfectants, carpet cleaners, etc.) that are certified eco-friendly.
- If a product doesn’t have a certification, look for products that do not contain harmful chemical agents or pollutants.
5. Focused cleaning
Another key part of green cleaning is finding ways to clean smarter, rather than more. In high traffic school facilities, attempting to perfectly sterilize the entire building is a futile effort. Instead, the harshest chemicals should be used only on key spots such as doorknobs, tables, and other places a large number of people make contact with.
6. Accommodating sensitivities
Another benefit of green cleaning practices is that they take into account people with allergies and sensitivities to chemicals. When possible, a green cleaning plan should avoid using chemicals that can cause negative reactions whenever possible.
7. Eliminating pesticides
Pesticides can be effective, but they also damage the human nervous system. Whenever possible, focus pest control efforts on eliminating things that attract insects or eliminating them at their source, rather than applying heavy levels of dangerous pesticides. In particular, make sure food and drink spills are always cleaned up promptly.
8. Other green cleaning
- Use floor mats to collect dust and grime so that floors do not have to be stripped and recoated as often.
- Clean hard floors with vacuums or sweepers to extend their lifespan and avoid the use of chemical cleaners whenever possible.
- Switch to metal-free and burnish-free floor finishes, which add less contaminants and pollution to the air.
- Make an effort to seal cracks and other crevices where bugs and outdoor pollutants can get inside.
Adopting green cleaning practices at schools help save money, improve quality of life, and make schools healthier for students and teachers. Here are our top tips for making the switch to a greener, cleaner school.