While many of us have made a switch to green living at home, our places of work are often forgotten. Businesses make up a substantial portion of the ill-effects on our planet, from waste to carbon emissions.
Commercial cleaning company GCC Facilities Management realised the importance of businesses being able to help reduce environmental waste and constantly work with suppliers to ensure cleaning methods are environmentally friendly.
While commercial cleaning providers are beginning to realise their impact on the environment and cater to the demand for eco-friendly services, a large number of companies are not taking this opportunity to change.
This could be down to many factors, lack of knowledge or a reluctance to change. Capital cities around the world are home to busy workplaces who feel they do not have the time to research new cleaning providers.
Cost is always a factor in every work decision, local green cleaners often have to charge more to make up for the lack of demand on them, or the cleaning duties fall onto the daily workforce instead of professionals.
It can be hard to convince managers and directors to implement new procedures and potentially have to spend more on a service. Read on to discover the impacts of conventional chemical cleaners, the benefits of making the change to green cleaning and common misconceptions debunked.
How Do Chemical Cleaners Impact The Environment?
All chemical cleaners have to be rinsed away and end up somewhere. After flushing or pouring, have you thought about where this ends up?
As they enter our water systems, water waste plants attempt to remove them before releasing them back into the water. Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of this is removed as it is an incredibly tricky process.
Marine wildlife then spends their life swimming in, consuming and breeding around these chemicals. This impacts development, growth and future generations.
These chemicals can also be incredibly corrosive, so to prevent leakage in transit, they are packaged in thick, strong plastics. Very few recycling plants can process these and they are therefore destined for landfill after just one use.
Aerosols have a direct link with damage to the ozone layer, this contributes to climate change and is impacting wildlife across the globe.
How Do Chemical Cleaners Directly Affect Us?
As mentioned above, marine animals spend their life surrounded by chemicals and ingesting them. Next time you are enjoying a seafood dinner, you could unknowingly be consuming these toxic chemicals. While small amounts will show no immediate effects, long-term exposure could cause serious damage to one’s health.
A common ingredient in laundry detergents and other conventional cleaners is monoethanolamine. This can be harmful and even fatal to anyone who has asthma or suffers from any other breathing-related condition.
Monoethanolamine causes inflammation, especially in the lungs. This is why it has been banned in many schools across the world, unfortunately, there are no regulations within workplaces for it.
The Benefits of Green Cleaning
Even if we are considered healthy, toxins linger in our air and can recirculate around our workplaces, especially with air conditioning. This causes headaches and nausea and those with sensitive skin can have reactions to surfaces.
Not only does this impact our health but also our productivity at work, so this is the best argument for any manager when convincing them to make a change. Green cleaning products do not have these negative effects.
Green cleaning improves the overall air quality of your office by reducing gases caused by chemicals and airborne dust.
It can also save costs in the long run, green cleaning products are reusable, such as cleaning clothes and hand towels. While the initial investment may come at a slightly higher cost than buying disposable versions, they can be used numerous times so there is only one cost.
Busting Green Cleaning Myths
Commonly, workplaces won’t make the change to green cleaning because of misconceptions about how it works and what it can do.
Some believe that green cleaning products are not as effective as chemical cleaners, this is wrong. It is true you may need to use a little more of the product and a little more effort, but the same result can be achieved without the toxins in chemical cleaners.
Some people believe this myth because natural cleaning products don’t have that ‘clean’ smell. In reality, this smell does nothing, it is added by chemical cleaning manufacturers so consumers can feel satisfied in the effectiveness of the product.
If you do want a fresh smell in your natural cleaners, you can simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the bottle.
We don’t just clean to keep an office space presentable, but to also kill harmful bacteria and viruses that can quickly spread through the workforce. Many believe you need harsh, toxic chemicals to kill these, but this simply isn’t true.
Natural cleaners have been proven to kill the cold and flu virus and something as simple as vinegar can do this. Meaning you are being kept safe from falling ill while also protecting the environment and respiratory systems.
So, you’ve made the switch to green cleaners and gotten rid of those nasty chemicals, that’s it, right? Green cleaning encompasses every element of cleaning, not just consumables. This doesn’t mean you have to change everything but trying where you can make a big difference.
If your office needs a new mop, try to source on with a wooden handle instead of a plastic one. Metal buckets are great as they last years and don’t break down like plastics do to eventually be microplastics. If you haven’t been thinking about making a change at work, now you should have a better understanding of why you should. If you have always wanted a change, you now have compelling information to convince your bosses to do so.