fresh and natural, save green concept

Contributed by Dean Supply.

Our carbon footprint is becoming more and more prominent with the increasing population and advancing technology, so it is important that we do everything we can to be more environmentally friendly. The average person can start this mission right at home by making their everyday activities, like cleaning, more eco-friendly, but so can offices and other facilities.

“Like anything, prevention is better than treatment,” says Michael DeSatnik, spokesperson for Dean Supply, “so start switching your products to eco-friendly ones; for example, every office has a lunchroom, or at least gatherings for birthdays or promotions. Change out the tableware with biodegradable products.”

He continued: "While you’re at it, educate your employees on the damaging effects of cleaning products. All of your changes will be diminished if your staff neglects to follow suit.”

Other ideas include:

1. Change your cleaning supplies. Instead of having a different cleaning supply for each cleaning need (bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, etc.), try using an all-purpose cleaner for all the facilities you clean. This stops you from having supply rooms full of poisonous chemicals.

Even better, buy green cleaning supplies. The benefits to you and your clients will be well worth it.

2. Spare electricity. Using less electricity is a great way to be eco-friendly while cleaning, so make sure you turn off all lights and electronics when you’re done cleaning the room you’re in.

Unless you have carpet, try not to use vacuum cleaners much.

“Vacuum cleaners are extremely convenient, but a lot of energy is wasted by vacuuming messes that can be easily swept up with a broom and dustpan," said DeSatnik.

3. Use natural air fresheners instead of spray air fresheners. Air fresheners are a great addition to office cleaning, but you are essentially spraying harmful chemicals all over your environment.

Air fresheners contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOCs can cause serious health problems for humans and pets, including cancer in extreme cases.

Using a natural air freshener eliminates the risk that VOCs cause. Raspberry-scented solids are a good choice. Eucalyptus is a good natural air freshener, especially when used in restrooms or locker rooms that have showers — the steam activates the scent. Tulips look pretty and they have the ability to remove formaldehyde from the air that comes from new furniture or cabinets.

4. Cut back on paper towels. It takes a lot of trees and energy to make paper towels, then after they are made, they have to be packaged and then shipped or delivered. Invest in reusable cloths for your cleaning business; they can be washed over and over, and aren’t as detrimental to the environment.

Read labels carefully, make some simple changes to your routine and get everyone involved to make your workspace happier and healthier — which does lead to increased productivity. You’ll also end up saving money.

Dean Supply is a restaurant supply and janitorial equipment business in Cleveland, Ohio. Opened in the 1950s, the company is considered a leader in food service and commercial cleaning in restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, office buildings, schools, etc.