Over the last several years, “Green Cleaning” has not only become a simple buzz-word in the United States, it has become a daily part of our lives. From individuals who are placing a higher importance on things like recycling and conserving energy, all the way to local, state and federal regulations enacted to positively impact our environment. If you want to know more about the subject, a simple search on the internet is a great place to begin. You can find numerous definitions of what Green Cleaning is, and different ways to apply it. Reading from U.S. President Barack Obama’s Executive Order No. 13514 on the matter may be a good place to start.
This executive order, dated Thursday, October 8th, 2009, offers a brief but accurate definition of what Green Cleaning is and how our Federal Government plans to lead by example in the pursuit of creating better living conditions for our ever-growing population. In addition to that source, you can find nearly a dozen organizations that are leading the way in promoting programs which are specifically designed to enhance the health of building occupants and protect the environment as a whole. In simple terms, most definitions of green cleaning center around the premise that cleaning should be done with products, training, policies and procedures that protect our health without harming our environment. In other words, using products and services that have a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. We couldn’t agree more. However, because our industry provides floor cleaning products, we have to make sure the products chosen fit the application at hand.
It’s in no one’s best interest to simply change a product for the sake of changing it. Green cleaning has to be more than that. We have to continue to keep in mind buildings need to be cleaned effectively and efficiently. Human beings cannot survive in the midst of waste and with our population growing at record paces, it is even more necessary than ever that we have offer adequate cleaning products and methods that separate by-products of human activity, at appropriate levels, from us. For instance, microfiber products have had a huge impact in the cleaning industry for many years now. Flat mopping systems could certainly be considered a step in the right direction in terms of green cleaning because they can utilize less chemicals, water and they offer longevity advantages over disposable dust mops and wet mops. However, attempting to use these products in heavy soil applications or in large areas where cross contamination is not a major concern, can lead to frustration as well as increased costs in time and labor.
Having a general understanding of the different floor cleaning products and methods available, as well as their advantages and disadvantages and when they are applicable to certain cleaning situations, will go a long way towards the overall goal of green cleaning. Keeping the buildings our industry serves healthy and clean, with the most effective and efficient products available, should be a goal we all strive for.