Using a “green” approach to cleaning improves indoor air quality, reduces asthma-related illnesses and cuts absenteeism. It also lowers building operating costs. And of course, it helps reduce pollution.
Green cleaning means eliminating to the greatest extent possible, all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients, and replacing them with high quality, environmentally friendly, less toxic cleaning products. It’s also about practices, like using entryway mat systems and microfiber cleaning cloths.
You can meet food service cleaning standards with green products (you can even meet hospital cleaning standards!). See the resources below to find the right products for your specific needs.
- Start by making one change. Example: Replace a glass cleaner with one that does not contain ammonia
- Use matting to prevent dirt from being carried into your restaurant or business. Proper matting can trap up to 85% of the dirt normally carried into a building, reducing the need for cleaning of all kinds.
- Dust with micro fiber cloths. Micro fiber picks up dust without the need for spray-on chemicals. If you must use a furniture polish, apply to the cloth not the surface.
- Encourage hand washing with soap and water. According to the CDC and research coming out of Johns Hopkins, regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap in getting hands clean. Triclosan, the main ingredient in antibacterial products, can create toxins when combined with tap water, contaminating streams, lakes and ground water into which sewage treatment effluent is discharged (the toxins are not removed by current sewage treatment processes). Use of Triclosan in office and home environments may also cause bacteria to become resistant to it so it no longer works where it is needed.
- Be smart when reading labels, and do some research. Just because something is labeled NATURAL does not mean it’s good for you or the environment. (for example, asbestos is found in nature).
Thanks to Maureen Fairlie of Snappy Solutions for her assistance with these tips and resources.
- EcoLogic Solutions
Sells a full line of non-hazardous, non-toxic cleaning products for the food service, hospitality and building maintenance industries.
- Green Seal
Extensive list of certified green cleaning products. Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting environmentally responsible products and services through its product certification program.