Mark Petruzzi Senior Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Relations with Green Seal

By the time you read this issue, it’s possible you may have missed a few visits to the new gym or had a few off-plan meals with too many carbohydrates or points. It’s a new year, but practically speaking, we’re all still doing a lot of the same things we did last year. Therefore, it’s perfectly OK if your New Year’s Resolutions don’t necessarily involve new activities and, instead, are recommitments to existing goals and projects. If you are still looking for a few ideas, I have some thoughts.

My first recommendation is to resolve to gain new information that will help you do your job better by reading industry publications, a key part of your professional development. We all want to be “better” and it’s a pretty open-ended concept. Reading Facility Cleaning Decisions and other publications relevant to your position and industry makes this more achievable than the diet and exercise ones (but you should do those, too).

Reading supports my goal to learn at least one new thing every day. When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was titled, The Book of Strange Facts and Useless Information. There were many others like this, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! books, Farmer’s Almanacs and the like. The more facts I read, the more I wanted to learn, even if nobody was ever going to test me on them. Although it’s hard to find people to play Trivial Pursuit with me, I have used the knowledge that U.S. paper currency is roughly 6 inches long as a ruler numerous times.

As an adult, my professional reading titles might appear less exciting. But I have the same goals.

I usually give a new publication a one-year trial. If I haven’t dog-eared at least one page in each issue, I don’t renew. While the magazine might have been interesting, the lack of dog-eared pages indicates there wasn’t much that I found informative and wanted to come back to later to reread, share or implement. Sometimes, what I learn reinforces what I already knew, but often the new fact challenges or expands my current thinking.

My second recommendation is to resolve to put something new you’ve learned from each issue into practice. Otherwise the words just stay flat on the page without leaping into action.

My final recommendation is to resolve to share the knowledge and importance of what you do. For those of you not in K-12, imagine if a first grader (since I have one) wanted to know “why” you were doing a particular cleaning task. Do you know? To remove dirt we don’t want in the building? To get rid of germs that can harm people? To keep the building looking good and preserve the useful life of fixtures and furnishings? All of the above?

Whether with students, patients, occupants or colleagues, look for opportunities to share why you do things and the outcomes you expect. Pass along the publications with the dog-eared pages to coworkers. Be open to a better and a happier New Year. 

MARK PETRUZZI is Senior Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Relations with Green Seal. He’s in his third decade of striving for more sustainable purchasing and operations by using his engineering powers for good.