If school facilities affect learning, why do so many schools have a dated approach to the cleaning of their buildings?
Through the implementation of green cleaning, schools have the opportunity to directly influence the health and safety of their students and employees. It is a proactive step towards achieving a healthy learning atmosphere for those in attendance. In this country, on any given day about 20% of Americans spend time in a school building; the average age of American schools is about fifty years. Green cleaning not only increases the lifespan of education facilities, it is critical to the success in learning and health of students in this country.
To keep schools healthy the main priority is infection control, and infection control is achieved through cleaning; clean areas are less likely to harbor germs. Traditional cleaners contain potentially dangerous chemicals that can cause a myriad of threatening symptoms. Think of it as a sequence: Schools have high amounts of traffic → high traffic means higher amount of germs → More germs, stronger cleaners→ overall outcome is less healthy – such chemicals in high doses become toxic. These harmful chemicals are also a large contributor to poor indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality in schools is a major problem in this country. Over 15,000 American schools have poor IAQ that affects over 8 million children. The symptoms associated with the low IAQ situation are those similar to Sick Building Syndrome. With a growing amount of research showing a correlation between student performance and the air that they breathe at school, action must be taken to improve the condition of air quality in educational facilities. In ratio to body size, children breathe more air than adults therefore making younger students more susceptible to sickness caused by poor air quality. The American Lung Association found that American children miss more than 10 million school days each year because of asthma worsened by poor IAQ! Logically speaking, it can be concluded that poor IAQ generates sickness in teachers and students; sickness increases absenteeism; missed days cause a decrease in performance. Schools that have implemented green cleaning saw reduced symptoms among asthmatic students as well as a reduction in sick days. Green products have low to no VOC emission and do not contribute to poor indoor air. The product that is used is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to eco-friendly cleaning.
Green cleaning has a 50/50 recipe: half is what you purchase and use and half is how you do it. Schools see more situations where heavy cleaners may be needed – i.e. a student gets a nose bleed – but heavy duty cleaners leave residue behind that may be harmful to those who come in contact with it. Not every job needs a strong chemical to get the job done. Many green cleaners come equipped with a dilution system making it possible for one cleaner to work on a myriad of messes. Thinking beyond chemicals, green cleaning at schools can only be successful with the power of knowledge and of teamwork.
The benefits are invaluable when it comes to instituting a green cleaning system in our schools. At the top of the list of advantages is the improvement of health in students and workers as well as increased worker safety and morale and productivity. You can only succeed at going green if you have a willing team. Envision Commercial Cleaning is a certified green clean team, and has experience working with and helping schools maintain cleaner, greener facilities. Call us for your free quote today! Keep in mind that Green Cleaning is not an all or nothing proposition, it can be practical and cost effective.
Upcoming: DIY tips and tricks for Greener Schools!
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