Building owners and property managers have increased their efforts to buy green certified products over the past couple of years. One reason these products are bought is with the intent to make indoor air quality better there by reducing the negative effects cleaning products have attributed to in the past. For once the cleaning staff benefits!! So, you buy green products, hand them to your staff and then what? What about green cleaning programs?
Green cleaning benefits the environment and helps protect people, especially vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the frail, children, and the chemically-sensitive. Green cleaning provides a high-performance cleaning process that prioritizes infection control but also reduces waste, risks to workers and building occupants, and negative impacts on the environment.
Charles Young Elementary School in Washington, DC, for example, implemented green cleaning and indoor air quality programs that addressed total environmental quality. Here are some of the remarkable results of their green cleaning and indoor air quality programs (Source: Healthy School Environment and Enhanced Educational Performance – The Case of Charles Young Elementary School, Washington, DC, Carpet & Rug Institute, January 2002.):*
School attendance increased from 89% to 93%
Math scores at basic or above increased from 51% to 76%
Reading scores at basic or above increased from 59% to 75%
Green cleaning programs play a vital role in creating a healthier environment. And the healthier environments created by indoor air quality programs result in improved student attendance and attitude, improved teacher attitude and retention and – perhaps most important—improved math and reading scores.
While some building owners and property managers may think its not easy being green – they will soon find out that information, resources and expert providers are available today to implement green cleaning programs in big or small steps. In fact, green is the only way to go. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. Maya Angelou