For an industry that is slow to adopt change, green cleaning seems to be the exception. However, I don't think it has hurt to have the powerful backing of state governments. Since 2004, individual states have been passing legislation that either recommends or requires green cleaning in schools or government facilities. The process was slow at first — with typically only one bill gaining approval each year — but in 2009, five new acts were passed. With each new law, green is given stronger legs on which to stand.

This momentum shows no signs of slowing down. Recently, Iowa became the 11th state to pass mandates, requiring green cleaning in both public schools and state agencies. Facilities must comply with the new regulations by July 12, 2010. Legislation is also expected to be proposed and debated in at least four other states this year.

It can be hard to keep up with the fury of pending bills and other green updates. To help keep tabs on all the changes, David Holly, co-author of "Green Cleaning for Dummies" presented a Web conference on green legislation at our free CleaningGreen Virtual Conference and Expo. For those who were unable to attend the live event last month (or in need of a refresher) an archive of the show is available until August at In addition to legislation, there is information regarding day cleaning, working with distributors, new product certifications and this month's cover story, sustainability.

With each new law,
green is given stonger legs
on which to stand

I'm happy to say our debut virtual event was a success, attracting nearly 1,000 attendees. Similar to a brick-and-mortar event, CleaningGreen provided an exhibit hall, education auditorium, networking lounge and resource library all accessible from a computer. Those who attended were able to see the newest green products and pose questions to manufacturers, distributors, BSCs and in-house cleaning professionals — without having to leave the office.

Due to the event's strong debut and industry-wide acceptance, we will be hosting a new virtual show — The Cleaning Innovations Virtual Conference & Expo — on September 16, 2010.