Benefits of Cleaning Green
Health and Well-Being
Whether used at home or in a place of business, environmentally friendly cleaning methods are good for human health. They are beneficial in many ways, including reducing one’s exposure to the harmful chemicals that are normally found in cleaning products. Green cleaning may, for example, reduce asthma and allergy symptoms by effectively removing allergens like dust. Additionally, it generally does not leave behind chemical fumes or residue that can be problematic for asthma sufferers.
- Household Cleaning Sprays Could Be Contributing to Rise in Cases of Asthma
- The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Cleaners
Green cleaning also makes it safer for people who are responsible for cleaning, such as janitors at a business. Not only is the lack of dangerous chemicals safer, but companies should provide training programs that place an emphasis on safety practices such as the safe handling and appropriate storage of products that they use. To ensure that a product is actually green, one should always check for labeling that indicates that it is certified as such. Safety also includes maintaining equipment and supplies necessary for specific cleaning processes. Powered equipment, for example, should receive proper maintenance to prevent accidental injury.
- Health and Environmental Benefits of Green Cleaning Products (PDF)
- OSHA and Worker Safety: Green and Clean (PDF)
- EPA: Learn About the Safer Choice Program
Green cleaning products, programs, and practices lend themselves to greater cleaning efficiency. In business, staff should receive training on green cleaning procedures so that they’re used in an effective and accurate manner that increases productivity. Some practices help people reduce the needed amount of cleaning products or the amount of labor that’s needed to clean their home, business, or establishment. For example, one can reduce the number of contaminants that they track into their home, including dirt, particulate pollution, animal waste, and antifreeze, by using mats in entryways. This reduces the amount of sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping needed as well as reducing the energy and water waste associated with these tasks. Labor-intensive chores can be lessened by frequently doing less-intensive cleaning and maintenance.
People and businesses who clean green are benefiting the environment, and they can also receive certain financial benefits. For example, when using green cleaning products, people are not exposed to toxic chemicals and thus are less likely to become sick due to related illnesses. This means fewer doctor visits and reduced absenteeism at schools and places of employment, which can otherwise cause all parties to lose money. Companies can expect fewer workers’ compensation claims for employees such as janitorial staff who may become ill or injured by the routine use of harmful chemicals, cleaning materials, and practices. Additionally, the added awareness and attention to cleaning practices and the materials and equipment used can equal more attention and planning in the inventory procurement process. This more efficient process often leads to better purchasing choices such as using more concentrated products, which means more savings.
In some cities and states, school green cleaning laws have been established to help reduce the environmental impact associated with keeping schools clean. These laws improve the overall safety of the environment, students, and all school staff. These laws and their requirements vary by state, but schools are expected to understand and meet their legal obligations.
- Green Clean Schools Policy and States With Green Cleaning Laws
- Green Cleaning in Schools: Developments in State Policy
- Perspectives on Implementation and Effectiveness of School Green Cleaning Laws (PDF)
When professional establishments adopt green cleaning programs or solutions, they often benefit from a greater sense of community. This requires the support of management, a collaborative effort, and a shared commitment from everyone. As every individual is encouraged to do their part to ensure the successful implementation of the program, the janitorial staff should also be recognized for their continuing efforts in making green cleaning a reality. Additionally, with successful programs, owners and stakeholders often enjoy an increased sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishment.
- Create a Green Cleaning Strategy for Your School
- 12 Overlooked Opportunities for Green Cleaning
- Green Clean Program Resource Guide (PDF)
Environmental and Sustainable
Green cleaning methods and products are a major plus for the environment. Chemicals in traditional cleaning products can be toxic to human and animal health, non-biodegradable, and made from resources that are non-renewable. These chemicals can make it into waterways, polluting them. Others can release gases that pollute the air and contribute to ozone depletion. Because cleaners are used indoors, they negatively impact indoor air quality as well. The packaging on green products is often minimal or made of recycled materials, which reduces energy usage. As a result, green cleaning products reduce one’s environmental impact. Facilities can also participate in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. This is a program from the U.S. Green Building Council that rates a building based on certain components of the facility’s eco-friendliness, including green cleaning programs.