How we clean has evolved significantly over the years. Growing up, Mr. Clean was a member of my household. For spills and stains, my mom would reach for the latest chemical-based cleaning buy ambien zolpidem products to mop them up. My grandmother, however, turned to “old-fashioned,” homemade solutions that used natural ingredients, like vinegar and lemon juice, for her cleaning needs. I did not realize it then but my grandmother was practicing green cleaning.
Nowadays, what is old is new again when it comes to cleaning. The demand for healthier, more natural options continues to increase as more and more people discover that they are allergic or sensitive to the chemicals in today’s cleaning products. We have finally caught on that how we clean really does make a difference for our overall health and wellbeing. Nowhere is this more important than in our schools.
As daily gathering places for hundreds of children and adults, our school buildings are breeding grounds for dirt, bacteria, and assorted other germs. By keeping our schools clean, we encourage environments that support health and student achievement. Unfortunately, the chemicals in conventional cleaning products are not always the safest or healthiest for students or school staff. Children who may be allergic or sensitive to the ingredients in the cleaning products used at their school may become sick or have an allergic reaction. If these episodes become a habit, their attendance and classroom performance can be affected. Adults, too, can be negatively impacted by cleaning chemicals used in schools, especially the custodial staff who work with chemicals on a daily basis.
This month, GreenNotes is taking a look at how schools and school districts are rethinking their cleaning practices and adopting greener, healthier products and practices that are having a positive impact on the school environment (not to mention the school’s or district’s pocketbook). You will learn some of the best practices that two award-winning school districts have adopted to green their cleaning routines; tips for adopting a green cleaning program from the Healthy Schools Campaign; and how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice label can help schools make better cleaning product choices. Finally, nonprofit Beyond Benign shares how green chemistry is just as relevant in the classroom as it is in the custodial closet.
Cleaning may be a chore, but it is a simple and powerful way to maintain health and happiness. Isn’t that what we all want for our students and ourselves?