We spend a lot of time discussing product lines, and what makes them/doesn’t make them green. In the interest of not neglecting our equipment lines, here is a short list of what to look for:
- Micro fiber cloths – these have become an industry standard. Much more effective at picking up contaminants from surfaces, and much more absorbent than standard cloths, these come in different colors such as green, orange, yellow and blue in order to be designated for specific area usage, preventing cross contamination. Additionally, they last longer, making them more cost and environmentally efficient.
- Auto scrubbers – for scrubbers, there are specifications related to more efficient water flow, chemical dilution ratios, and sound levels that one should look for when purchasing a greener machine. Also, look for scrubbers that allow an onboard chemical dilution system as opposed to pre-mixing water and product in the solution tank, as this allows for better contaminant removal.
- Vacuums – The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) offers its Seal of Approval rating system for vacuums, testing for three things: Soil removal, contaminant containment, and surface damage. The CRI rating includes the HEPA filtration system, which filters finer dust particles from the vacuum exhaust and helps to maintain a cleaner indoor air quality. Further add-ons include magnet bars, which pick up paper clips and staples that do considerable damage to the machine – in turn extending the life of the machine by saving wear and tear on the belt and bags, making for less landfill and better sustainability. Furthermore, LEED and CIMS certifications require that vacuums have CRI’s seal and operate at less than 70 decibels.
- General green guidelines for equipment – definitions overall can vary, so it is important to know what your facility’s goals are and how you want to achieve them. Some examples include floor equipment that uses environmentally friendly gel batteries, or using propane equipment that is EPA and CARB certified. Other examples simply use less water and product, and processes that emphasize top scrubbing rather than extraction and floor stripping. The LEED GS-42 standard at the usgbc.org website is a great source for more information.
If you need green cleaning staffing services and help on how to implement a full turn key green building services program in your facility, please get in touch with us!