Avocados, coconut oil, acai berries. They’re all health fads that are being trumpeted as the healthiest new thing one minute and the devil himself the next. For example, one week coconut oil pulling is the “cool thing to do” and the next it’s full of saturated fats. Green cleaning may sound like one of these Pinterest-style fads but, unlike these “superfoods,” it’s here to stay.
Like most things, green cleaning has its advantages and disadvantages. When you’re considering what is best for your company, you may be tempted to stick to traditional cleaning methods that seem easier and less expensive. But are they actually?
How do you know if green cleaning is worth the hype? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of green cleaning.
Healthier for the Environment, Healthier for You.
The use of green cleaning products avoids harmful toxins that are present in traditional cleaning supplies. Normal cleaning products contain endocrine disrupters, phosphorus, nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds. None of these are good for you and green cleaning products avoid them all.
Avoiding harsh chemicals is good not only for the earth and for the cleaning team, but also for your employees who come in to work the next day after a deep clean. Have you ever walked into a building and smelled the tangy odor of bleach? You may give it a mere passing thought that the office was cleaned and go about your day. Unfortunately, every time you smell the harsh odors of industrial cleaning supplies, you’re really smelling lingering chemicals that you’re now breathing in.
Over time, exposure to these harsh chemicals can lead to sickness in both janitorial staff and your daily employees. This means more sick time used and fewer productive hours spent in the office. Using green cleaning products lowers the amount of harmful toxins in the air and decreases the amount of sick time your employees use.
Data-driven and Science-based.
Don’t confuse fact-based green cleaning with fiction-based myths about green cleaning. For example, lemons and baking soda are a popular way to clean your kitchen—but can you imagine how long it would take to clean five floors of an office park like this?
This is where science steps in. The Environmental Protection Agency labels certain chemicals toxic and decides what can be considered a green product. It has even compiled a database of common substances, chemical safety, and what to do when a spill occurs.
Have you heard of green chemistry? The EPA is not subjective about what goes on the toxic list. Instead, they use green chemistry to decide what is harmful and what is not. Not only does green chemistry provide objective facts for the toxicity of certain materials, but it also works to prevent the further production of more harmful substances.
Held to High Standards.
You can be sure that green cleaning doesn’t mean lower quality cleaning. Premier green cleaning is held to the high standards of the Green Seal organization.
Founded in 1989, the Green Seal organization is the nation’s foremost ecolabel, symbolizing transparency, integrity, and environmental leadership. The nonprofit organization certifies products and services that meet their environmental standards as based on scientific programs. Green Seal also monitors and trains cleaning companies via the GS-42 certification program.
Companies with a GS-42 certification undergo intense training. This training includes continued education for all employees. All janitorial staff must complete 24 hours of classes and testing each year.
Not only does the Green Seal organization train employees, but they monitor the products used as well. Like the EPA, the Green Seal organization has created a database of all green cleaning products that they endorse. These products can be found through their website. Again, similarly to the EPA, the Green Seal organization uses science to determine what should be classified as green and what should not.
Conserving energy is another goal of green cleaning services. What does conserving energy mean for you? Money saved on your electric and water bill. Green cleaners typically try to use a “dry” cleaning method. These dry methods use less water overall and less hot water.
Longevity of Office Materials
Have you ever found your office carpets becoming dirtier faster after you clean them? Don’t worry—it’s not your imagination. Traditional cleaners can leave behind residue that weakens the fibers in the carpets. Over time, your carpet’s weakened fibers become dirtier faster and faster.
Dry cleaning methods use an environmentally-friendly polymer that attaches to dirt in the carpet but not in the fibers themselves. This means that your carpet fibers stay strong and your carpets stay cleaner longer. Cleaner carpets aren’t thrown out as often. Imagine going from replacing your carpets every year, to every three. That can save your office building a lot of money and keep your tenants happy.
Savings or Money-draining?
One common complaint about green cleaning is the cost. And the reality is that some complainers are correct. A decade or two ago green cleaning did cost ten to twenty percent more. However, today the cost is much more equal to traditional cleaning methods – and, when hidden savings like employee productivity and increased building wellness are considered, green cleaning is often more affordable.
Cost of Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning products may cost more upfront. But green products come in a higher concentration than your traditional cleaning supplies. This means your janitorial staff can use less of a product and get the same result. After all, green cleaning is all about reducing your waste. If green products were healthier for the environment but a staff had to use three times as much, there would still be more waste. The higher concentration of active ingredients in green products means less waste and ultimately more money saved for you.
Is It Worth It for You?
Looking at the pros and cons, the answer becomes obvious: green cleaning is worth it.
Yes, the upfront cost of green cleaning is more expensive. But when you consider all of the hidden savings involved, the costs actually tip in its favor. All of your employees, from janitorial staff to C-suite, will benefit from healthier chemicals in the building. Businesses will be more productive as fewer employees are out sick.
You can be sure your buildings will receive the best quality cleaning available due to the science-based and data-driven research that goes into green cleaning. Based on science and facts, green cleaning supplies are more effective while using less product. Because of this, you can rest easy in your clean office knowing that no supplies were wasted in the process.
With a GS-42 certified company, you’ll know you aren’t paying more for the same traditional cleaning methods labeled under a fake name. The Green Seal organization ensures that all certified cleaning companies use green cleaning practices that meet their high standards.
If you’re ready to choose green cleaning, get in touch. Founded in 1998, the Wilburn Company is here to provide you with the best green cleaning service possible. Our tradition of honest service at affordable prices for the best quality can help you decide if green cleaning is worth it for your company. Contact us today for more information on green cleaning for your building.