Every business across the world should be doing their bit to help our planet and try to reverse the damage we have caused. Walking when we can, recycling our can, and buying reusable items to replace single-use plastic is all common knowledge, but do you know how and why to switch to green cleaning?
Office cleaning is a large contributor to pollution and climate change and it’s important to know how to choose the right products and services, such as using contract cleaning by GCC Facilities Management to make a positive impact on not just the environment, but also staff members.
What Is Green Cleaning?
Green cleaning is ditching those chemical cleaners in favor of natural alternatives. These can be shop-bought products or homemade ones, it’s really down to what suits the business.
Choosing refillable bottles to significantly reduce plastic in our landfills and opting for products made with fully recyclable or biodegradable packaging is one of the most important changes that can be made.
Most conventional cleaners contain corrosive chemicals, meaning the packaging must be of a certain standard and thickness to prevent leakages, these plastics are rarely recyclable.
However, it isn’t just about the things you spray around the office. Green cleaning encompasses every element of cleaning. From getting rid of those disposable washroom towels for reusable, washable ones to purchasing plastic-free equipment, such as metal mop buckets of natural sponges.
Even appliances should be considered, is the vacuum an energy field and a low-power alternative available?
Why Is Green Cleaning Important
Chemical cleaners are rinsed from our surfaces and wash down our drains, after that, little consideration is taken into what happens to them next.
Water waste plants try their best to remove these chemicals but only a small percentage of chemicals are ever removed before being released into our ecosystems.
Marine life then ingests and lives within these toxins, causing issues with growth, breeding, and even death. You could even be ingesting these chemicals next time you sit down to a seafood meal.
Small amounts of these chemicals won’t directly impact our health, but over time and regular exposure could have long-term consequences.
Aerosoles contain hydrocarbons and compressed gases that contribute to damage to the ozone layer, which impacts climate change. We all know the implications of climate change on the planet, wildlife, and humans and it’s important to try and reverse this before it’s too late.
Monoethanolamine is a common ingredient in laundry detergents and other conventional cleaners. Warning signs of these do not have to be disclosed on the packaging and a large percentage of the population is unaware of what they can cause.
Monoethanolamine can have terrible effects on staff with asthma or other respiratory issues, they cause inflammation and can bring on attacks and even be fatal. This is why many schools have banned these, but there is currently no regulation on the workplace.
Busting Green Cleaning Myths
Even after reading the above, some people may still be reluctant to make the switch to green cleaning. There are many misconceptions about natural cleaning products and we are here to educate and tell the true picture.
Green cleaning products are just as effective as chemical cleaners. It is true that they don’t possess the same ‘clean’ smell we may be used to. These scents are commonly added to chemical cleaners to give the perception of a really clean feel and actually serve no cleaning benefit.
While it’s true that natural cleaning products may require a little more elbow grease to get soap suds to lather or to move a stubborn stain, they still do the job just as well. You can even add a few drops of essential oil to green cleaning products to get a fresh smell throughout the office.
We don’t clean just to keep up appearances, it’s also important to properly sanitize surfaces to stop the spread of germs within the workplace, especially during cold and flu season. You are forgiven for thinking strong chemical cleaners are the only products that can kill bacteria.
Natural cleaning products have been proven to kill cold and flu viruses, vinegar is a green cleaner’s best friend and it doesn’t just leave surfaces sparkling, but it also kills these diseases.
However, there is still research being done regarding coronavirus, until a study has shown that vinegar is effective, we suggest using conventional cleaners within the workplace if you have had a confirmed case.
Some businesses may be put off green cleaning due to the cost, every company wants to save cash where they can. It’s true, green cleaning will come at a higher initial cost, however, once you have these products, refillable bottles, and reusable products, it will save money over time.
It can be tricky trying to convince company directors to make any changes in the office, let alone one that will completely overhaul their current systems. However, the biggest change we can make is by educating others.
The more demand for these products and services, the more pressure will be placed on larger corporations to change their ways. This will also lead to costs coming down as more factories produce these products and fewer people buy chemical cleaners.