Benefits of Eco-Friendly Products And Initiatives From Around The World
There's no other time in history when we've known more about how humanity impacts the environment than we do today. And that knowledge is coupled with a responsibility that we need to do what we can to minimize our impact on the environment.
By now, everyone knows that pouring non-biodegradable chemicals directly down the sink is simply not good. Yet, for many cleaning professionals, that's exactly what we're doing - indirectly - every time we use non-environmentally friendly cleaning products.
This is an international issue and one facilities around the world are trying to get right by implementing eco-friendly cleaning products.
Why Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Are The Right Choice
1) Demand From Building Occupants
The attitudes among consumers and building occupants are changing and they're wising up to the fact that some cleaning products simply better for the environment than others. This change in attitude is having a big effect on buying decisions. This is evident in the popularity of products that utilize 'natural' and 'biodegradable' in their marketing. In short, going green is what consumers actually want. It makes them feel good about themselves for using eco-friendly products and services.
2) Better Water Quality
Many of the more traditional cleaning products we use in our businesses contain high levels of phosphates, which can contribute to a decline in water quality. You see, once a cleaning solution containing phosphates is washed down the water ways, it encourages algae growth. More algae pulls more oxygen from the water, causing a decline in quality. This is bad for both us and the myriad animals in our ecosystems.
3) It's Good For Business
Switching your business to using products more in line with consumer behavior will help both cleaning workers, building occupants and the environment. Of course, the best part about this is that everybody wins. You'll lean into what building occupants actually want, which in turn will lead to more business for cleaning professionals and positive word of mouth.
Green Initiatives From Around The World
The United States has one of the largest and most important environmental agencies in the world, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the EPAs best initiatives is their 'Sustainable Marketplace: Greener Products and Services' program. This initiative not only encourages customers to 'buy green' but has also driven accurate labeling of products. This is incredibly important because it's very hard for any one person to do all the research. These labels give us comfort of knowing that if we buy a product with the right label we're making a conscious choice.
Furthermore the EPA has a wealth of information on what green products to buy and why they're a better choice. With the government taking the lead, we are in good shape for the future.
Across the European Union, the European Commission has been making good progress on green initiatives in cleaning products. Over a three-year timeframe (2013-2016), they've conducted trials in their 'Single Market For Green Products' initiative. This initiative has introduced a single way for all countries in the Union to grade their environmental products. With a consistent grading system, it will make consumer choice a lot simpler.
For cleaning companies, it gives them a central set of rules for ensuring the ecofriendliness of their products across different markets. This is great news because it means companies committed to the environment can grow much faster than they could before.
To be honest, Australia, where I run my business, is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of government regulation. Even at this stage, there is still no one government body responsible for the regulation of environmentally friendly cleaning products. This is a real shame and a little embarrassing.
However, there are several companies in the private sector trying to do what they can to come up with some sort of standard. The largest of these is Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), who have come up with their own labeling and grading system. If a product has their certification, you know it is safe and natural.
The downside is that this is completely optional. While many reputable companies have chosen to become certified with GECA, there are several that have not. In a way, this defeats the purpose of the whole exercise. Hopefully sometime soon we will have more government regulation and an official certification for products that meet environmentally friendly standards.
This was some insight into the benefits of using natural products in cleaning endeavors. With a little more push, hopefully these types of products can become the norm and not the exception. If that becomes the case, we can all look forward to a happier, healthier and cleaner future.
Michael Brooke is a professional cleaner from Sydney, Australia. He has operated his own carpet and commercial cleaning company for the last 20 years. The business is Carpet Cleaning Sydney. Although he is from the other side of the world, the rules of cleaning are the same world over. Nothing makes him happier than a job well done.
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