There are numerous resources to gain information on how to begin a green cleaning program. One well-written green cleaning guide is Green Cleaning for Dummies by Stephen Ashkin and David Holly (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2007) available through the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA). Briefly, to begin a green cleaning program, you will want to:
- Gain agreement among the key people within your organization who will have a stake in your program that the program is necessary. This includes establishing what the program is expected to accomplish.
- Examine your facility and determine its current condition as a starting baseline.
- Review your current facility cleaning practices and see where changes can be made to reduce waste, environmental impact and exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, while at the same time increase the efficiency of the cleaning process.
- Search for sources for chemicals, supplies and equipment that will allow you to move towards a greener state.
- Ensure that all involved members of your organization understand the purpose of the green cleaning program, how this will affect them and what their role in helping to accomplish the program goals is.
Going green is not an all or nothing proposition, but a continuum of steps that can be implemented either one at a time, or in concert. These steps include:
Reducing Waste – This not only improves your bottom line, it helps the environment. For example, making sure your cleaning staff uses traditional cleaning products properly and in the proper amounts can move you towards a “greener” state. Implementing recycling programs can also improve your green state – it not only reduces the amount of waste you generate, but may even become another income source.
Changing Procedures – Shifting the emphasis on the cleaning process from speed to maintaining a healthy environment is an important part of a green cleaning program.
Staff Training – Managers must themselves understand best practices in order to achieve their green cleaning goals and to communicate these practices to their staff. R3 Reliable Redistribution Resource™ can assist you with this. We have the knowledge, information and staff expertise to provide you with onsite instruction on how to properly use the products you purchase from us.
Certification – Like the green products being used, cleaning crews and housekeeping staff – even facilities themselves – can be awarded green clean certification by meeting specific standards established by third party groups and following governmental guidelines.
Switching from Traditional Cleaning Products to Green Ones – This is one of the most important changes a cleaning crew can make. This can include switching to products made from recycled paper, no-VOC chemicals, high filtration vacuums, microfiber wipes and mops. Each of the above items works as well as traditional products, and R3 Reliable Redistribution Resource™ offers a wide selection of these and other green products in the catalog pages that follow.
To assist you with green product selection, products from our suppliers in our catalog that are certified green will have a green certification or label that identifies its certifications. For your convenience, we have provided a list of the certifying organizations in the back of our catalog.
People spend the vast majority of their time indoors, and the quality of the indoor environment impacts their health and well being. The care we give to that indoor environment affects not only the people in that environment, but the facility itself. The more steps taken to insure the environment is a healthy place to be, the cleaner the building and all its parts will be. This extra care will allow for the facility to last longer as an attractive, comfortable place to be.
R3 Reliable Redistribution Resource™ can help you help your customers reach their green goals. For more information please review the products listed in our green products catalog or contact your R3 sales representative. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have.
Our Goal, as always, is to be your Total Solution Provider!