It Actually IS Easy Being Green: Why green cleaning is right for your facility—and your bottom line

Green Cleaning
The annual Earth Day this month has me thinking a lot about the environment. I try to do my part: I recycle at home, I’ve slowly been switching my light bulbs to LEDs, I’m careful with how much I print from my computer. But I’ll be honest: It’s tough to be green when the environmentally friendly choice is often more expensive.

Even though I know I should look into solar panels for my house, for example, the price point is still too high. And a decent electric car is just not in my range yet. I want to be green, but I have a budget like everyone else. That’s why I love green cleaning: It’s not only just as affordable as conventional cleaning but it saves our clients money in the long run.

That’s a big win for Mother Earth and a big win for your pocketbook.

What’s in a name?

So, what is “green” cleaning? Don’t worry, it’s not a stupid question; there’s often a lot of confusion around the term. Basically, it’s a catch-all descriptor for any cleaning method or product that’s designed to give you the cleanest facility without any negative impact on your health.

While the environmental movement seems like a fairly recent occurrence, the roots of “green” go back decades in this country. Earth Day was founded in the 1970s, but a renewed focus on more sustainable work processes has always been at the forefront of many of the most successful businesses throughout our history. Now more than ever, awareness of the benefits of green cleaning is creating a strong demand in schools and commercial businesses throughout the U.S.

Going green to save some green

Back to the money part. Whether they’re a school superintendent, a plant manager or a medical facility director, our clients care about the environment but also have to care about their bottom line. We get it. The good news is that you can do both.

The truth is that green cleaning can have a big impact on your budget, especially when it comes to your employees or students and the rate of absenteeism. Think about it: What good is a clean building if the products used to clean it are causing illness among those who spend so much of their day within its walls?

One of the big health risks from conventional cleaners are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases released from many common products, including cleaners. These compounds are released into the air while the cleaner is in use, and can even be released while it’s stored. The EPA has found that the indoor air in homes and buildings often contains two to five times the level of VOCs that exist outdoors.

And these compounds can cause a host of health effects, including eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; nausea; loss of coordination; possibly damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. The EPA has even connected high levels of exposure to cancer.

While not everyone will experience symptoms, many people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, are especially affected. And when your employees are ill, that means more absences and less productivity. And you can tie that directly to your bottom line.

Join the movement

The cleaning industry has come a long way in recent decades, and we now have the ability to maximize the cleanliness of your facility using environmentally safe and healthy products. Not only do green cleaners work, they work exceptionally well—and they’ll work without harming those who are so important to you (including Mother Nature).

Now, if only Tesla would come out with a more affordable model…

Perry Patterson is the branch manager of the northwest Arkansas location for SG360, a facility services company specializing in environmentally friendly janitorial services, as well as facilities management, restoration services, and inventory management. How are you keeping your facility green? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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