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Green Cleaning – Getting Started
Keep your school, childcare center and home squeaky clean, and healthy too! Need more guidance? Give us a call.
A Guide to Nontoxic Cleaning for the Home
This handy guide includes nontoxic alternatives to commonly-used household cleaners as well as a list of chemicals and cleaning ingredients to avoid, and their effects on health. Includes shopping tips!
You can order a printed copies of all these materials by contacting us.
Other Guides to Green Cleaning
The Center for a New American Dream
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life and promote social justice. CNAD established a Procurement Strategies Program in 1998 to respond to the demand for more environmentally preferable goods and services by helping state and local government incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions. One result is a multi-organization agreement on green cleaning criteria. Click here for CNAD’s green cleaning tips.
Grassroots Environmental Education
Instrumental in passing the New York State Green Cleaning Policy, GEE has developed a DVD that shares case studies of districts doing Green Cleaning, to dispel the major myths of: “It costs more”, “It isn’t as effective”, and “The products aren’t available”. These DVD’s are available at cost (1 –2 dollars), or we can send you a copy. The DVD information is very useful, but the schools that are showcased do not reflect the constituencies that many of us work with. A one-page general green cleaning Q&A form is available here. A 4 page Child Safe Guidelines document covers children’s special vulnerabilities, specific chemicals to avoid in cleaners, and a definition of terms.
Healthy Schools Network
An 8-page guide to Healthier Cleaning and Maintenance Practices and Products for Schools. This guide includes specific considerations to keep in mind when purchasing cleaning products, vender, price and performance considerations, and tips on where to find green cleaning products for purchase.
Healthy Schools Campaign
The Guide highlights five simple steps for establishing a green cleaning program in your school. It comes with an easy-to-use CD-Rom filled with practical advice, information, resources and tools. Free copies of the Guide can be ordered from the website.
Did you know 25% of chemicals in the cleaning products used in schools are toxic and contribute to poor indoor air quality, smog, cancer, asthma, and other disease? There is a better way to clean – use green cleaning products. The Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit offers free training materials developed by health, environment, education and labor groups.
Green Cleaning for Schools
This issue-specific slideshow of the Green Flag Schools Program delves into greater depth about the health and environmental impacts of chemical cleaners. It provides examples of alternative green cleaning products, and shares successful stories of schools that are using green cleaners. There is also a faith-based version of this slideshow for religious schools.
Click Green-Cleaning_Non-Religious1-2 to download the slideshow
Other PowerPoint Presentations:
- OFEE Presentation on the Federal Market and Green Purchasing
- A Guide to GreenSeal Cleaners
- Greening the Government Conference
- The “Green” Cleaning Opportunity
- North American Green Purchasing Conference
- DOI Green Cleaners Training
State and Local Initiatives
New York State
New York passed the first statewide green cleaning bill in 2005, requiring public buildings and schools to use green cleaning products.
Janitor Pollution Prevention Project
This effort focused upon reducing the use of toxic janitorial chemicals at large organizations across the country.
Read more about pioneering efforts in developing green cleaning contract language in Massachusetts.
Minnesota State Contract for Cleaning Products
To better safeguard the health of custodial workers, building occupants, and the environment, the state of Minnesota added environmental specifications to the state cleaning supplies contract. Read Procuring Green Cleaners: Minnesota’s Experience to find out more about the process, timeline and criteria that were used to evaluate products for the Minnesota state contract for cleaners.
King County, Washington
As part of their overall Environmental Purchasing policy, which includes preferencing the purchase of recycled products, King County included a provision requiring their contractors to use “environmentally preferable products” which include green cleaners.
Seattle’s Environmentally Responsible Purchasing
The City of Seattle recently adopted policies on green cleaning to protect the environment, safeguard public health, cut the costs associated with handling hazardous chemicals, and reduce potential liability. Environmental criteria are being added to many new contracts, including these environmental specifications for janitorial service contracts.
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Holyoke recently switched to a line of green cleaners for use by its custodial staff.