The concept of green cleaning considers not only the hygiene capabilities of a cleaning agent but environmental and health-related risks of using certain cleaners. To incorporate “green cleaning” into university custodial activities, some teams are adopting effective, less wasteful products and more environmentally safe than other harsh chemical compounds.
Let’s explore five common trends that university custodial teams can utilize to reduce sanitation-related waste and health hazards.
Adopting the use of tools and equipment that can be washed and reused whenever possible reduces trash created by custodial service teams. For example, mop heads, dusters, scrub brushes, and certain sponges have reusable options. These items can be used, sanitized, and used again to avoid constantly throwing away single-use products.
Paper towels, tissues, toilet seat covers, and toilet paper have more sustainable options than the standard inventory that custodial managers often order. In addition, several toilet paper and paper towel manufacturers offer up to 60% post-consumer fiber products. Using recycled products whenever possible can help reduce strain on the environment.
Harsh cleaners reduce air quality in learning spaces and can harm the environment by polluting air and water sources. Using cleaning products made from environmentally-friendly materials can reduce hazardous chemicals in the air, which creates a better learning environment for students. In addition, sustainable cleaners are frequently packaged in recyclable containers, reducing the waste in landfills.
Conducting regular maintenance on cleaning equipment ensures that said equipment remains in working condition for as long as possible. Taking care of equipment reduces the frequency of needing to replace it, keeping unnecessary refuse out of landfills. Additionally, some equipment manufacturers have return programs in place which allow businesses to return broken equipment for parts and store credits, rather than simply throwing the item away.
Green cleaning practices work best with community participation. They are introducing a green cleaning program to university students, and staff can encourage individuals who frequent buildings in the area to adopt more environmentally-friendly behavior. For example, providing recycling bins encourages students and staff to avoid littering and reduce landfill waste simultaneously.
By participating in green cleaning practices, custodial teams can not only ensure that they’re keeping learning environments adequately hygienic for students and staff, but they can do so in a way that benefits the planet and human health at the same time.