Janitorial cleaning supplies cover an astonishing array of purposes; the typical custodian works with hard surface cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, floor cleaners and degreasers, dishwasher detergents, floor strippers, disinfectants, glass polishers, carpet and upholstery cleaners, and spot removers designed to handle tough stains. All totalled, this translates into a massive amount of harmful chemicals being used in the cleaning industry, sparking numerous concerns and prompting an industry-wide push to “go green”. If you’re on the fence about making the shift over to green janitorial cleaning supplies, take some time to consider the following list of compelling reasons to take the plunge:
-Better human health and safety. All too often, people think of themselves as being separate from the environment, and frame issues to do with chemical pollutants solely in terms of their effects on wild flora and fauna: That they will kill fish, or result in birth defects and illnesses in animals, or that acid rains will harm forests. One must keep in mind that what is sufficient to kill a fish, bird, or otter, or to strip the leaves from trees, is very much capable of harming human beings as well, especially those who—like custodians—handle these chemicals every day. Many janitorial cleaning supplies contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, caustic elements that irritate the lungs and skin, etc. By going green, you’ll be doing your health a big favour, and be improving the health of those who work in the buildings you clean. Going green helps to reduce or eliminate occupational asthma and cancer, along with making life much more bearable for people with chemical allergies or sensitivities.
-Better air and water quality: Cleaning detergents which wind up disposed into sewer systems (for example, those that are emptied down a drain) invariably contaminate local freshwater supplies. Many people who dump chemicals down the drain do not realise that sewage treatment does not actually adequately remove these harmful chemicals from the water supply, and as such, they build up over time. Phosphates in particular are a notorious killer of waterways, as they overload them with nutrients, causing so much algae growth that light is blocked out from the water below and all of the available oxygen is used up.
-Less emissions and energy use: Non-green janitorial cleaning supplies usually contain petroleum based solvents, bleach, and chlorine-based ingredients—all of which require a high amount of energy to produce and are associated with the creation of toxic emissions. When you opt for green cleaning supplies for your office you will be opting for products that have been produced using less energy and less harmful emissions.
-No loss in cleaning quality: There is a myth floating around the cleaning industry that green cleaners produce a less desirable finish and less thorough clean, but this is not really the case. The rumour likely stems from a time when green cleaning products were relatively new and less effective than they are today. Modern green cleaning supplies produce an ample amount of lasting suds, allowing custodians to clean surfaces completely and effectively.