Earth Day is officially April 22, but organizations often celebrate it throughout the month of April with events highlighting their environmental accomplishments. As you get back to “business as usual,” this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your facility’s actions to reduce its environmental impact and protect building users’ health.
Consider hosting a showcase or series of events highlighting innovative green products that reduce energy and water consumption, produce less waste, and improve recycling. Focus on products that are fuel-efficient, are made with recycled content, and have other eco-friendly features that will help make your facility cleaner and healthier.
Tell your facility’s story
If your facility isn’t telling its sustainability story, occupants will reasonably assume it doesn’t have one. Here are some areas in which facilities, and the cleaning industry at large, can showcase their contributions to a cleaner, safer, and healthier planet.
Green cleaning chemicals and hand soaps: Showcase some “green-certified” chemicals (e.g., U.S. EPA Safer Choice) used in your facility. Discuss how third-party certifications make it easier to buy products that have been verified to reduce impacts on health, safety, and the environment.
On-site cleaning product generators: These products are the future of cleaning chemicals because not only do they clean well, they also significantly reduce environmental impacts compared to traditional chemicals (e.g., less packaging, reduced shipping costs).
Eco-friendly floor machines: Visitors will enjoy seeing big pieces of equipment like floor scrubbers that produce their own cleaning solutions and/or recycle water, floor machines that reduce the amount of dust associated with stripping floors, and autonomous robots that clean with a push of a button. What a huge improvement over old-fashioned mops and buckets.
Vacuum cleaners and high-filtration bags: Display a high-filtration vacuum cleaner and bag. Discuss what features make it a high-filtration vacuum, and why it is important to use high-quality vacuum bags. Backpack vacuums and new battery-powered options can also be interesting topics. Facility occupants might even decide they need to upgrade the vacuum they use in their own home.
Post-consumer recycled content: Display samples of paper and plastic products that contain post-consumer recycled content or other green materials and explain the environmental benefits of using them. Manufacturers of paper and plastic liner products can provide information about the environmental benefits such as the number of trees-saved and the reduced amount of water and waste in the manufacturing process.
Entry mats: Showcase an entryway mat and explain why it is important to capture dirt/soil before it enters the facility and how mat selection and placement should depend on weather and other considerations. Explain why occupants should use high-quality mats in their own homes and leave their shoes off.
Stress the happy ending
Earth Day is an opportunity to educate facility occupants about how green cleaning in your facility reduces unnecessary impacts on the environment and protects health. Plus, showcasing sustainable strategies at the workplace can inspire employees to do their part at home. The combined efforts of commercial and residential sustainability practices will protect the environment and public health.
WATCH: Steve Ashkin Discusses Earth Day Ideas for the Cleaning Industry