Businesses are incorporating sustainability into their daily practices in an effort to do their part in creating a more eco-friendly future. If you’re among the businesses that are adopting eco-friendly business practices such as conserving resources and reducing waste, you’re probably always looking for additional ways to go green.
An area that some businesses overlook is their cleaning practices. Many conventional cleaning products contain chemicals that have a negative impact on people, animals, and the environment. Chemicals in cleaning products can cause health problems such as asthma, cancer, and birth defects. After the products are used, they typically get washed down the drain. Water treatment facilities can get rid of some of the contaminants but not all. These contaminants then get washed into our rivers and lakes, where it can have a negative impact on wildlife.
What is green cleaning?
Green cleaning is when you use cleaning methods and procedures that are designed to preserve human health and the environment. Typically, this means using products that contain environmentally friendly ingredients. Most green products are also manufactured in an environmentally friendly way and are biodegradable.
Most green cleaning products contain a label on their packaging that indicates the company has met certain environmental and labor standards. However, it’s important to remember that some companies can get this label just by donating to environmental causes or using recycled packaging while their products still contain harmful chemicals. You should always check to see what ingredients are in the product to ensure that it is environmentally friendly. Avoid products that use phosphates, chlorine, artificial fragrances, and artificial colors.
The right green cleaning products smell more natural and will still clean your business just as well as conventional cleaning supplies.
How do I switch to green products?
If you would like to practice green cleaning, the first thing you’ll need to do is to find out what you’re currently cleaning with. If your business does its own cleaning, go around your business and make a list of all your products. If you’re using a cleaning company, ask them to provide you with a list.
After you have your list of products, go through and see if any of them are green products. You can do this by seeing if any of them have an ecolabel or checking to see if they are EWG verified. If any of them are, great! You’re already using green products.
“There are many options for ordering green cleaning products,” says Martha Hernandez of Beyond Eco, a commercial cleaning business in Austin, TX. “Be sure that the label is transparent in the ingredients that are used. Many will withhold information. You also can look up your own recipes for cleaning products. We make many solutions ourselves and utilize reusable bottles or containers to reduce waste in the process.”
If they don’t, you’ll want to see if the vendor you buy your supplies from offers a green product line. If you’re using an outside cleaning company, see if they’re willing to use green products. Most companies will already have alternative products on hand. Some companies, such as Executive Cleaning Services, LLC, will also let you provide your own green cleaning products while still doing the cleaning for you!
Aren’t green products more expensive?
No, not necessarily. Depending on where you buy your products, you can get them for around the same price as conventional products.
There are a number of ways to make green cleaning affordable. If you’re a small business, you can consider making your own cleaners out of natural ingredients. If you purchase your products from a vendor, see if you can buy in bulk or buy concentrated products. You’ll spend more money upfront, but the products will last longer.
You should also eliminate unnecessary products to help reduce costs. There are many all-purpose cleaners out there that can be used on multiple surfaces.
What other ways can I stay green with my cleaning?
Switching to green cleaning products is the best way! If you’re not using green products, then you’re not practicing green cleaning. However, it’s also important that your entire team is on board. If your employees go out and buy conventional cleaning products to clean their own cubicle with, it defeats the purpose of your company using green products. Engage your employees in the process of switching to new supplies so that they have a say.
Some might even start practicing green cleaning at home! If you use a cleaning service, make sure you choose someone who also adopts green cleaning practices. An example of someone who does this is Ideal Cleaning – they only use environmentally cleaning products as they understand how much safer they are to use.
If you’re already practicing sustainable business practices, make sure to add green cleaning to your list of practices. Or, if you’re trying to find ways to start being sustainable, green cleaning is a great first step! It’ll take some time to review your current cleaning products, but once you identify new green cleaning products, you’ll be good to go.