Guest Blog Post By Haley Snow, Marketing & Communications Manager, EnvirOx
You may not realize it, but there’s one surprising part of your staff that makes a huge contribution to the green-ness of your venue. It’s your custodial crew! These folks work hard every day to ensure that visitors to your venue have a clean, safe, healthy place to enjoy their favorite sports. Yes, cleaning is indeed a healthcare business!
And yet, custodial staff face dangerous working conditions, often due to harsh, toxic chemicals and inefficient and wasteful equipment or processes. 6% of all custodians are injured on the job each year due to chemical exposure and the janitorial industry is one of 5 industries that account for 20% of all work injuries. So how do we protect our custodial crew and PLAY GREENER ™?
Good news! All of these potential problems can be solved with a good green cleaning program. Greener cleaning methods and products can improve the health and safety of everyone in your venue as well as improve your environmental footprint. Specifically, green cleaning products can improve your indoor air quality, remove toxins and reduce waste. This becomes even more important in a sports environment; how many people walk through your doors every game? Tens of thousands? That’s how many people your cleaning program affects.
Remember; green is a spectrum. Even small changes can make your cleaning program greener. Here’s some quick, easy tips to start selecting green cleaning products for your venue– or at home:
- Look for green certifications.
This is the single biggest, easiest improvement you can make. Most janitorial products, from paper to cleaning chemicals to trash can liners, can be Green Certified by a third-party certification company. These companies do all the legwork for you, testing toxicity, environmental impact, performance and results of products that claim to be green. Look for Green Seal, EcoLogo or Design for the Environment logos on products. An important note here; any product with a kill claim (like disinfectants) can’t be green certified, as the EPA regulates those products as pesticides.
- Use your vendor’s resources.
Engage your vendors and suppliers in your efforts– it sends a message to suppliers about what’s important to you. At the very least, they should be able to point you to greener products, and they may even be able to do on-site audits or help you promote your new green cleaning program.
- Look at recycled content, biodegradability, VOCs, and safety data sheets.
A manufacturer or supplier should be able to provide a complete picture of key green features– the features themselves will vary between equipment, chemicals and paper goods, but a vendor should always be able to answer why a product is “green.”
- Compare price vs. cost.
When selecting any product, you always want to compare the upfront price vs. the actual use cost. What this means is you can pay twice the price for a piece of equipment that will last you four times as long as the cheaper version. This cuts the price of operation – the cost per cleaning – in half and saves room in the landfill. The same can be said for concentrated cleaning chemicals over ready-to-use products and microfibers over paper towels. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle!
Ready to get started? Visit the Green Sports Alliance’s Green Cleaning Playbook for more information. Don’t forget to stop by the EnvirOx booth at the Summit! We’d love to hear how green cleaning is working for your venue or help you get your own green cleaning program off the ground.