Green Cleaning Matters
October 17, 2012 | Written By: Healthy Schools Campaign
Tomorrow, HSC will launch the updated fourth edition of our Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools! The fourth edition, which includes practical advice for addressing today’s cleaning challenges, builds on the success of time-tested earlier editions and follows the distribution of nearly 125,000 copies of the guide!
Why are so many schools making the effort to green their cleaning programs?
The answer is simply that green cleaning matters for kids' health, for the health of teachers and staff who work in schools, and the health of our environment.
As we put together the updated fourth edition of the guide, we've been reflecting on the words of a few of the on-the-ground experts who have been involved in this initiative over the years.
Today, we're happy to share their perspectives on why green cleaning matters:
“I saw firsthand that some of the products my custodians were using were obviously affecting their health in a negative way. Who knows what it was doing to them, being exposed to these products day in and day out during their entire careers?
It finally occurred to me that the decisions I make concerning what cleaning products I purchase might negatively affect the custodians—along with the 4,000 students who go through my school’s doors every day. Having small children myself, I decided it was my duty at least to investigate and see if there was a better way.
After using this guide and starting a green cleaning program, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that there is a better way.”
~ Bill Thompson, Director of Facilities Management, Lockport Township High School, Lockport, IL
“A little-known fact is that school employees have high rates of work-related asthma and other respiratory disorders. Many of these conditions are due in part to routine exposure to conventional cleaners. Green cleaning products and practices are designed to minimize troubling exposures and reduce respiratory problems among the workforce. Green cleaning is truly a winning strategy for promoting worker and occupant health.”
~ Darryl Alexander, Director of Health and Safety, American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC
“We have saved money by testing and comparing multiple green cleaning products. All products and procedures we implement are required to meet our standards for efficacy, efficiency and renewability at a cost effective price. New procedures and methods have achieved material and labor savings as well.”
~ Pat Pizzo, Director, School Facilities and Operations, East Meadow School District, Long Island, NY
“A green cleaning program is critical to support the health and well-being of students, teachers and staff. For a school to achieve LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations + Maintenance certification, it must have a green cleaning policy in place. New buildings that achieve LEED for Schools certification should have green cleaning programs, too. After all, a building is only as green as the way it is operated and maintained.”
~ Rachel Gutter, Director of the Center for Green Schools, U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, DC
As more schools seek to go green, The Quick & Easy Guide is a practical, easy-to-use resource for getting started or moving forward with a healthy and environmentally responsible cleaning program.
You can learn more online at www.greencleanschools.org. Stay posted for the launch of the new edition of the guide!