Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) announced the release of the improved and expanded second edition of the Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. The second edition includes new sections on sustainability, green cleaning for food service, integrated pest management, new technologies and more. It was developed with the support of 16 national education stakeholder organizations and 39 cleaning industry corporate leaders following the distribution of more than 70,000 copies of the popular and highly-regarded first edition.

“It’s been remarkable to see how much green cleaning in schools has grown in the two years since we released the first guide,” said Rochelle Davis, executive editor of the guide and founding executive director of the Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC). “There is a growing awareness of the way that cleaning can affect the health of everyone in the building, from students to the custodial staff working closely with the chemicals. In that way, a cleaning program affects student performance, staff attendance and the overall climate of a school. We’re honored to work with so many leading organizations to provide a guide that schools can use to make their buildings clean, healthy places to learn and work.”

The states of Illinois and New York require green cleaning in schools, and schools in other states are moving toward green cleaning in efforts to protect the health of building occupants while reducing schools’ impact on the environment. The Quick & Easy Guide offers an authoritative, easy-to-use resource for getting started or moving forward with a healthy, effective, affordable green cleaning program.

In the two years since its initial release, the guide has continued to influence the marketplace and policy environment for green cleaning. The five simple steps outlined in the guide are used as the basis for the American School & University national green cleaning award for schools, and the guide was instrumental in successful advocacy to require green cleaning in all Illinois schools.  In Nov., Healthy Schools Campaign and key partners will gather with state-level advocates at the Green Clean Schools National Summit in Washington, D.C. to discuss strategies for state-by-state advocacy promoting green cleaning in schools.

The guide includes a handbook outlining five simple steps for setting up a green cleaning program, such as switching to green cleaning products and equipment, adopting new cleaning procedures, introducing green paper and plastic products and involving all school stakeholders in the process. An accompanying CD contains comprehensive information, practical advice, tools and resources to help schools learn more and institutionalize their efforts. The new guide includes an enhanced  purchasing directory with more than 500 products that meet HSC’s environmental standards for schools.

Steve Ashkin, author of the guide and president of The Ashkin Group LLC, explained that the guide’s strength comes from the diverse coalition involved in its development and distribution.

“What sets the guide apart is the broad involvement it has garnered from both education leaders and corporate leaders in the cleaning industry,” said Ashkin. “The information is practical for schools and practical for the companies providing products to schools. It illustrates how green cleaning is a win-win for education and for industry, and how much sense it makes to take steps toward protecting health and our environment with a green cleaning program.”

To access the full guide online or learn more about the guide, the green cleaning award or state-level advocacy, click here.