This Earth Day, I encourage you to become actively involved in the celebration. For too long, the cleaning industry has sat in the background and waited for the festivities to die down so we could clean up after the events of the day.

But we now know how important our role is as a member of the green movement. So, on April 22, demonstrate and promote how your efforts have impacted the sustainability of the buildings you clean and the health of the occupants in those buildings. This is an excellent time to remind your customers of the green initiatives that you have helped implement, especially those that have had a positive impact on their building occupants.

The economy promises to dominate front page news for some time to come, but the work we are doing to help our clients become green is good news. Newspaper editors, local television stations and other media outlets are scrambling to find good news — so this is a great time to promote your efforts.

We are fortunate that we have a day such as Earth Day to help cast a light on the important work we are doing. We need to take advantage of it by letting others know of our role as leaders in the cleaning industry by being active participants and spokespeople for green cleaning.

Most of our building occupants are not aware of the many steps we have taken to make their workplace healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. Now is the perfect time to tell them.

How can you easily become actively involved in Earth Day? There are many ways, and they all don’t require an out of pocket expense. Marketing at green events is always an effective way to get your word out. While it may not be possible at your place of work, there will be community events where you can participate. If you do set up a table or exhibit, make sure you avoid generating unnecessary waste by having too many handouts or virtually worthless promotional items. But have actual numbers to show and be ready to discuss them. Have your talking points ready regarding what you, your clients and your vendors are doing to help the planet.

Other simple ways to get involved, and perhaps create a little buzz about your business’ green efforts, include initiating a new green step for your building. Perhaps it is as simple as switching your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents, or introducing a new green cleaning product into your operations; on Earth Day that is a newsworthy event. Encourage your co-workers to join you. Sign up for an “Adopt-a-Road” clean-up crew or sponsor a local school’s Earth Day program.

The most important thing is that you do something. The goal is to promote your efforts and position yourself as a member of the green movement and also as a leader in the cleaning industry.

Stephen Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group and executive director of the Green Cleaning Network.