Green Cleaning Products

High school custodian Scott McLellan changes hand soap that has been certified by Green Seal. - click for larger image
High school custodian Scott McLellan changes hand soap that has been certified by Green Seal.

Potential Benefits of Using Green Cleaning Products and Programs

F-M is committed to using Green chemicals and products whenever possible. Several chemicals and products used within the district, such as toilet paper and paper towels, have been certified by Green Seal, a nonprofit organization that certifies products and services as environmentally friendly.

There are numerous benefits to following a Green cleaning program and using Green cleaning products, according to the New York State Office of General Services, such as:

Health and Well Being

·         Reduces exposure to toxic chemicals

·         May reduce incidence of asthma attacks caused by dust and chemical allergens

·         Improves indoor air quality by reducing airborne dust and chemical gases

Safety

·         Improves training programs by stressing safety

·         Provides/recommends safer handling of chemicals using automatic dilution dispensers

·         Improves control of chemical inventory and storage locations

·         Improves maintenance of powered cleaning equipment

Cleaning Efficiency

 

·         Reduces amount of dirt/soil entering the building by using appropriately sized walk off mats

·         Improves training on cleaning procedures, which increases efficiency

·         Improves cleaning processes and systems

·         Promotes increased productivity and learning

·         Reduces frequency of labor-intensive tasks like refinishing floors by using less intensive cleaning and maintenance activities more often

Financial

·         Reduces chemical consumption and the number of cleaning chemicals needed

·         Reduces injuries to custodial staff and Workers' Compensation Claims

·         Promotes a healthier environment for teachers and children (lowering sick days and absenteeism)

·         Promotes better inventory management of chemicals and equipment, resulting in more efficient and better-planned procurement of goods

Legal

·         Meets schools' obligations under the New York State Green Cleaning Law (Chapter 584 of the Laws of 2005). Under this law, schools are only required to procure and use environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products; however, schools will gain the full benefits of green cleaning by implementing an entire green cleaning program

Community

·         Provides a sense of community among facility stakeholders

·         Provides recognition of the efforts of the custodial staff as well as other stakeholders

·         Encourages the facility occupants to play a role in the success of the program and increases the sense of facility ownership by all stakeholders

Environmental and Sustainable

 

·         Lowers environmental impact/footprint of the facility

·         Augments other environmental efforts, such as improving indoor air quality, reducing energy usage, and recycling

·         Incorporates many of the components of the New York Collaborative for High Performance Schools Guidelines as well as the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification program. The LEED certification program gives credits for various components of a facility green cleaning program, which can boost a facility's LEED certification level.

 

Source: New York’s Green Cleaning Program; New York State Office of General Services








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