Tuesday, April 9, 2019

6 Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix Together

Mixing cleaning chemicals can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. Do you know what chemicals NOT to mix? Please enjoy this video how-to that outlines what chemicals you should never combine.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

What are Trash Bags Made Of?

Three Canadians--Harry Wasylyk, Frank Plomp and Larry Hansen--made the first trash bags in 1950. CBC television ranked their invention 36th among 50 top Canadian inventions. Initially trash bags were called "green garbage bags" because of their color. These bags were first launched for commercial use, but beginning in 1960 they were made for home use as well.


Trash bags, or garbage bags, have become very popular, owing to their capacity to hold garbage securely without leakage or spillover. The odor of the waste material is minimized when it is packed in trash bags. These bags come in various sizes to hold various amounts of garbage. They can hold all sorts of litter or food waste without creating a mess.

Raw Materials

Polyethylene plastic is the most common material used to manufacture trash bags. Polyethylene was invented in 1942 in the form of small beads. The process of extrusion then transformed these plastic beads into plastic bags. Trash bags are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is purported to be flexible, soft, airtight and waterproof. At times, to provide strength to the bags, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is also used.


There are several steps to change polyethylene beads into plastic bags:
1) Polyethylene beads are heated to 200 degrees C. 2) High pressure is applied to the molten polyethylene beads to make the plastic flexible. 3) Color is added to make the plastic attractive. 4) Colored plastic is converted into a large roll of bags. 5) The last step involves cooling down the bags to be cut and collapsed into various shapes. Finally a seal is put on them.

Biodegradable Trash Bags

Trash bags made of plastic are not very eco-friendly, as they take years to decompose. To address the problem, Canadian chemist Dr. James Guillet invented biodegradable plastic in 1971. These plastics are remarkable, as they can decompose when exposed to sunlight, air and moisture. Another kind of trash bag now being used is the oxo-biodegradable trash bag. These bags decompose in low temperatures and, once degraded, are normal waste and do not contaminate the soil. So, these are safer to use and have overcome the limitations of earlier versions of plastic trash bags, which could not be readily disposed by processes of photo-oxidation and thermo-oxidation.


Some expensive trash bags have two linings to make them completely impervious. These bags have an outer waterproof plastic bag with an inner lining consisting of a sheet of cellulose fluff pulp. These bags are used for trash with high water content and bad odor. Some trash bags come with draw strings or wire twist ties to tightly secure the garbage inside the bag. Plastic trash bags are highly durable and sanitary.

Reliable Paper carries a huge selection of trash can liners and bags. Visit us here to save!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

How to Make Your Own Disinfectant CLOROX Bleach Solution : A Safe and Effective Way to Kill Germs

How to Make Your Own Disinfectant CLOROX Bleach Solution : A Safe and Effective Way to Kill Germs

CLOROX Liquid bleach is a powerful disinfectant that is inexpensive, easy to obtain, and strong enough to kill dangerous germs.

Before you start using bleach everywhere, it's important to know that all bleach is caustic and can emit potentially lethal fumes. That's why it's important to dilute your bleach and ensure that it's not used at full-strength and not mix it with other solutions and chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a 1:10 solution for disinfecting surfaces and objects that may have been tainted by contagions. Be sure to follow these steps exactly to make a safe and effective bleach solution.
List of Ingredients

Making a CLOROX bleach solution to disinfect your home can be easy. You'll just need a few supplies to get started:

A quart-sized plastic spray bottle

A measuring cup

Damp cloth

Heavy duty rubber gloves

Clorox Bleach


After gathering your supplies, putting together the ingredients safely requires a little insight and preparation.

How to Make a 1:10 CLOROX Bleach Solution

The first rule when making a bleach solution is to either go outside or find a well-ventilated room, ideally with open windows and a cross-draft. Full-strength bleach emits toxic fumes and should never be used in small or enclosed spaces.

It is best to wear clothes and shoes you don't mind bleaching in case of a spill. If you have longer hair, you should also pin back your hair and wear the rubber gloves for added safety.

Mix and measure the ingredients

To make a 1:10 solution, you'll need 1 part CLOROX bleach for every 9 parts water. A good amount to start with is 1/4 cup bleach and 2¼ cups of water.

Carefully pour the bleach into the spray bottle, then add the water. Mixing the solution in this order will prevent the bleach from splashing up on you. If you do get any bleach on your skin, wipe it off immediately with a damp cloth.

If you need to make a larger amount of disinfectant solution, increase the amounts of bleach and water accordingly, using the same proportions as above (1/2 cup bleach with 4½ cups of water, 3/4 cup bleach with 6¾ cups of water, etc).

Once the ingredients are mixed, place the lid tightly on the container and gently flip it back and forth a few times to mix. After mixing, your solution is ready to use.

Whatever you do, never add any other ingredient to the bleach solution.

3 Products Never to Mix With Bleach

Ammonia mixed with bleach converts the chlorine in bleach to chloramine gas. Breathing in the fumes can cause coughing, shortness of breath, and pneumonia.

Acidic compounds such as vinegar or window cleaner create chlorine gas when mixed with bleach. Excessive exposure can cause chest pain, vomiting, and even death.
Alcohol converts to chloroform when mixed with bleach. Breathing in chloroform can cause fatigue, dizziness, and fainting.

Chlorine bleach solution begins to lose its disinfectant power quickly when exposed to heat, sunlight, and evaporation. To ensure the strength of your solution, mix a fresh batch each day and discard whatever is leftover. Keep out of the reach of children!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What Does It Mean to Go Green?

What Does It Mean to Go Green?

Posted on April 1, 2013 by Greenhome.com
Original article can be found here
Going green – it’s a phrase that’s becoming more and more common as people start to realize the enormity of the environmental challenges we all face. Everybody knows the earth is in trouble: every day we see new stories about global warming, acid rain, oil spills, deforestation, or nuclear waste. But what can you actually do to help? Can going green really make a difference? Here at Greenhome.com we think the answer is yes, and we want to help you understand  what it means to be green and the impact your eco-friendly choices can have. When you follow these simple ideas for green living, the small changes we all make every day can add up to make a big difference.

Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

Whether you’re thinking about it or not, you have an impact on the environment every day with every choice you make. When you get in your car, buy a coffee, or wash your clothes you’re using the earth’s resources, often in ways that are damaging and irreversible. Oil, water, wood, metal – all these materials have to be taken from the environment and processed in order to support the way we live. This process frequently leads to the destruction and pollution of forests, waterways, and other natural systems. This is often referred to as an environmental footprint: it’s the mark you leave behind on the environment, and you want yours to be as small as possible. That’s why one of the most important aspects of going green is also the simplest: use less stuff. Taking shorter showers, being conservative with the thermostat, and swapping your car for a bike are all easy ways to reduce the amount of resources you use.

In addition to using less, you can shrink your environmental footprint by choosing reusable and recyclable products. Every time you fill up a reusable water bottle or throw your junk mail in the recycling bin you’re keeping resources out of the garbage and out of landfills. And it actually takes less energy to manufacture good from recycled materials than from scratch, so recycling also helps reduce energy consumption. Americans throw away over 250 million tons of trash a year – just imagine all the resources we could save if all that waste could be reused or composted instead of tossed in landfills. And as an added bonus, when you support businesses that produce green products, you’re encouraging more companies to make going green a priority.

Stay Local
Another important part of going green is to shop locally, especially when it comes to food. We’re all so used to being able to run by the grocery store for anything we need that we don’t stop to think about where that food comes from. But industrial farming is actually extremely damaging to the environment – it pollutes surrounding areas with toxic chemicals and uses vast amounts of resources, not just for producing food but also to get those foods from the farm to your table. When you shop at farmers’ markets and grocery stores that carry local, organic fruits, vegetables, and meat you’re helping the environment and ensuring you get nutritious, healthy meals. And the importance of thinking locally doesn’t just apply to food either. When you buy locally-made green products like furniture or toys you’re putting money back into your community and helping homegrown companies with environmentally friendly practices.
Going green also means thinking not just about global issues but also about local environmental problems. Volunteer with parks or natural centers to ensure your community has clean, well-maintained green spaces and get involved in local efforts to start or expand recycling programs and other sustainability efforts. The best way to make an impact is to start right in your own backyard.

Live Healthy and Safe

Being green isn’t just about helping the environment – it’s also about keeping yourself healthy and happy. Our bodies put up with a lot every day, from fast food burgers to air pollution to a poor night’s sleep, and going green means doing what you can to ensure you don’t let toxins in your environment affect you. This can mean doing something as simple as using a better air filter or switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, but it can also mean making more profound changes in your life. Maybe you want to give up eating meat or move out of a crowded city; whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to educate yourself not only about your impact on the environment but also about how your environment is affecting you.

Why Is it Important to Go Green?

Why Is it Important to Go Green?

Vijayalaxmi Kinhal
Woman and Picture of Earth
Many reasons drive the global push to "go green". While nature conservation is one of them, ensuring economic and social wellbeing, mental and physical health, and a sustainable future for humans are some other powerful incentives.

Reduce the Resource Crunch

Even synthetic products come from natural resources. For example, plastic is made from 4% of global production of petroleum products and processed by using another 4% of it to make energy, according to Worldwatch Institute.
This reliance on natural resources for material and energy requirement is becoming a major environmental and economic problem says EcoWatch, depleting resources needed to "power economies and lift people out of poverty." Since many of the resources are non-renewable, at current rates of use, the world will run out of many necessary materials. Even renewable resources are at risk as some need long periods to be replenished point out Oregon State University.

Smart Purchasing Stretches Current Resources

There is much that people can do, since 50-80% of the land, materials, and water is used for household consumption a 2015 scientific study found. People can buy wisely, cut down on consumerism, and waste production. This would ensure resources last longer.

Impact of Recycling

However, some consumption is necessary, and life standards can be maintained by recycling. LessIsMore.org points out that valuable resources can be saved by recycling. Producing new goods always requires much more energy while recycling needs only a fraction of it adds the American Goescience Institute.

Diminish Air Pollution

Cityscape At Night
Use of fossil fuels like petroleum, natural gas, and coal, and burning wood produce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and many harmful chemicals that pollute the air and have serious consequences on environment and people's health.
There are many ways to reduce emissions and prevent air pollution. Use of alternative energy sources that are renewable and sustainable produce little to no emissions and therefore improve health and have less environmental impact. Moreover, they are a reliable source providing more employment than fossil-fuel based energy, according to Union of Concerned Scientists. Similarly, cars running on alternative release little or no emissions reports Issues in Science and Technology.

Effects on Health and Wildlife

Such measures can save lives, because air pollution has become "a major environmental health risk," according to the World Health Organization (WHO), that has led to the premature death of 3 million people. Decreasing air pollutants would reduce water pollution by decreasing acid rain and eutrophication that can harm to wildlife especially in aquatic environments, and crops and trees report Massachusetts' Department of Environmental Protection.

Prevent Water Pollution

Water pollution is caused by point sources where wastes are discharged into rivers and oceans, according to National Ocean Atmospheric Administration. Non-point pollution include soil erosion, agricultural runoff loaded with fertilizers and pesticides, urban runoff containing oil, pet and garden wastes explains the Environmental Protection Agency's Non-Point Sources page (EPA Non-Point Sources).

Economic Benefits

Reducing nitrogen pollution caused by effluents by treating waste-water can be beneficial economically. The environmental benefits, too, are many. It reduces eutrophication, greenhouse gas production, and energy use notes a study reported by Science Daily. Clean water is good also for farmers, fisheries, tourism, homeowners, and others reports Environment Working Group (EWG). At least $22 billion a year can be gained through an increase in commercial and farming activities. Cutting agricultural pollution is a necessary element in creating these positive impacts.

Environmental Advantages of Prevention

The amount of waste that enters the water can be reduced or even prevented and water pollution can be stopped. Many persistent organic pollutants (POPS) that come from agricultural and industrial wastes have decreased in oceans due to bans but there are new pollutants like flame retardants along with old DDT, still found, reports Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Reducing plastic waste and dumping of industrial waste can help hundreds of species that are dying in oceans elaborates California Coastal Commission. This would also decrease the health risk to people from eating fish that is contaminated by toxic waste that has entered the food-chain points out the Environmental Defense Fund.

Stop Land Pollution

Land can be polluted when industrial wastes, in many cases hazardous is dumped creating brownfields. Landfills also contain toxic chemicals that leach into soil, and then groundwater. Other reasons are energy production processes, mining for fossils fuels and metals, and agricultural use of fertilizers and pesticides. Heavy metal and persistent organic pollutants that cause land pollution can be reduced by reducing household and industrial waste, and through recycling.

Going Green Impacts Health

By taking these measures the health impact like damage to nervous, immune and reproductive systems and abnormalities in infant and child development can be prevented, which the International Institute Sustainable Development Bulletin (IISD) explains are caused by POPS. The effect on mammals, reptiles, fish and birds due to immune, enzyme and reproductive systems problems that the WHO (pg. 8 & 9) notes that are caused by POPS can be prevented.
Since POPS do not degrade soon and persist for centuries, it is necessary to be vigilant in their use. A Caribbean Environment Programme report states that POPs level in the first decade of the 21st century had decreased globally compared to 1980s and 1990s, as knowledge of their dangers became widespread, but new products which are not controlled still contribute to POPs level.

Curtail Climate Change

Greenhouse gas emissions that cause air pollution also lead to climate change. Burning fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use change, production of nitrogen fertilizers, and ruminants (e.g., cows) digestion through human activities, are the reasons behind the abrupt global warming reports NASA.
Steps are needed to address the effects of climate change. The results are rising temperature, melting polar ice-caps and glaciers, rise in sea-level and submergence of coastal land, changes in precipitation patters, increase in extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts, and ocean acidification. All of which then impact crops, wildlife, and biodiversity notes NASA. The impact can, however, be worse with every degree rise in temperature.

Limiting Temperature Change Lessens Negative Impacts

There is a big difference in effects if the temperature rise would be 2 degrees Celsius. Fifty percent longer heat waves, a 10 centimeter higher rise in sea levels, destruction of all coral reefs instead of 70% loss, and increased risks to crop security can be prevented by limiting rise to only 1.5 degrees Celsius reports a 2016 scientific study.
A global initiative, The Paris Agreement, came into effect in late 2016, with ratification from 145 countries, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius reports the UNFCCC. All the individual actions which reduce air pollution also help stop climate change.

Curb Industrial Agriculture

Large scale farming with monocultures propped by irrigation and use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides account for 70% of the water use in the world. Moreover, it is responsible for 75% of the water pollution and one-third of the GHG emitted, and decline in biodiversity of bees, bats, amphibians, and other beneficial species states Pesticide Action Network.
Cows in springtime
Alternative green solutions like local mid-sized farms can improve the environment, local communities and worker health, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Foregoing chemicals and opting for organic agriculture and gardening takes "a proactive approach" to prevent problems before they arise. So soil quality is built through many cultivation practices, biodiversity saved and used, with no pollution of air, water or land, recommends the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Positive Impacts on Health and Other Areas

Consumers who buy organic can save themselves worries about health problems that occur due to consuming vegetables, fruits and animals contaminated by pesticides or antibiotics suggests WebMD. It also saves biodiversity and positively impacts the air, water, and land when compared to conventional agricultural practices.

Stop Deforestation and Habitat Loss

Amazon Deforestation
Deforestation and loss of only tropical ecosystems account for 10% of GHG according to Mongabay. Despite international efforts to protect forests and other habitats, a scientific 2016 study found that half of 825 natural ecosystems were still at a high risk of being destroyed, so more action is still necessary. Encourage green practices to impact the environment in a number of ways.

Fight Climate Change Through Protecting Forests

Protecting forests standing can significantly reduce global warming explains the Union of Corned Scientists (Forests and Land). Forest protection is in fact a better solution than restoring forests in fighting climate change according to Guardian.

Save Biodiversity and Human Livelihoods

As Greenpeace points out, it is necessary to stop deforestation for many other reasons. This is to protect forests that are home to 80% of biodiversity and provide many ecosystem benefits. Moreover, this would ensure survival of 1.4 billion people dependent on forests for living and livelihoods.

Impact on Aquatic Systems and Related Industries

Habitat destruction is rampant in aquatic systems too. Coral reef destruction in oceans is also serious. The International Coral Reef Initiative reports that reefs support one million marine species, protect coastal areas, and are worth billions of dollars for the fishing and tourism industry. Limiting habitat loss and degradation is important also in rivers and streams where it has led to losses of 81% of vertebrate species already.

End Soil Erosion and Degradation

Land and soil degradation occurs due to intensive farming, over-grazing and deforestation. This has led to desertification and arable land is being lost at "30 to 35 times the historical rates" according to the United Nations.

How Conservation Helps

These problems are best tackled by both small and large scale soil conservation efforts. These efforts can prevent consequences like:
  • Decrease in arable land
  • Loss of precious topsoil
  • Flooding downstream due to clogging of rivers and streams
  • Nutrient pollution
Planting trees or maintaining perennial crops also provide habitats for wildlife; it also improves land stability and prevents landslides. In urban areas soil conservation by tree planting improves the area's aesthetic value says Forestry Research, UK.

Minimize Biodiversity Loss

There are an estimated 8.7 to 10 million species on earth, according to a study published in Nature.com. Human activities are causing extinction at 8 to 100 times the natural level since 1900, in what is called the sixth extinction event notes the Guardian.
Since habitat loss and fragmentation are the number one reason for species loss, reducing paper use and recycling paper saves forests, and species; 40% of woods are cut to make pulp for paper and paperboards reports WWF. Reducing consumption in general can also help save species, as a 2017 study found many biodiversity hotspots are being threatened due to consumer demand.
Poaching of species for their body parts like rhino horns, elephants' tusk, and tiger skins is the second important cause of biodiversity loss. It is being tackled by reducing demand for these items and strict rules to prevent their illegal trade.

Areas Impacted by Biodiversity

Biodiversity is essential as it provides clean water, food, medicines, clothing, timber, biofuels, and fossil fuels, through ecosystem services of biodiversity, and ensures soil fertility, air quality, carbon sequestration, and moderation of climate. In short, without biodiversity life would be difficult for people. So loss of species is something everybody should be concerned about as it goes beyond loss of some plants and animals.

Take Caution Consuming Genetic Engineered Organisms

Recent technologies are showing adverse effects, and there is need for caution before their use is expanded. Genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) that require heavy herbicide use have caused the development of 14 super-weeds notes a 2014 USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) report (pg. iv). Milk from cows injected with GMO rBGH can cause cancer, notes American Nutrition Association. To limit these impacts, 38 countries have banned use of GMOs. Ensuring label information about GMOs in food products is the best way to provide people a choice to curtail its use and ill effects since countries like the U.S. have GMOs in 75% of food products.

Effect on Human Health

By making the effort to read labels and fighting for labelling laws, people can make an informed choice on consuming GMO foods. Humans could potentially have healthier lives.

Steps Toward Positive Remedies

Many positive changes have been instituted and others are constantly being researched and implemented to remedy the world's environmental crisis. It isn't just the current generation that must deal with any crisis that is created; it will be a challenge for future generations if greater action is not taken over the next few decades.

Commercial Cleaning Products: Checklist for Selecting the Best

Commercial Cleaning Products: Checklist for Selecting the Best

Commercial Cleaning Products: Checklist for Selecting the Best There are so many things to consider when selecting the best commercial cleaning products for your building and business that it can be overwhelming. A common question today is does it need to be green janitorial supplies. To help you assess the products you want to use here is a checklist (in order) that Green Cleaning Products uses to select our offerings:

Green cleaning products icon - checkIt works! (a.k.a., Quality) If the green cleaning product is not effective it is not worth having. Any excess product that goes unused is wasteful. Although environmentally preferable cleaners were once perceived as less effective, this is no longer the case. Fortunately, efficacy of the green janitorial supplies is a key criteria that must be met in securing a third party certification, such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, and/or US EPA Design for the Environment.

Green cleaning products icon - checkHealth and Safety So many cleaning products  are toxic, impacting human health with both acute (immediate) and chronic (long term) implications. There are already so many harmful chemicals in our daily life that we do not need more. Health problems associated with cleaning chemicals include reproductive disorders, major organ damage, permanent eye damage, asthma and other respiratory ailments, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Custodial staff and others who spend time indoors, such as office workers, health employees (such as doctors and nurses) and students, are particularly susceptible to the health risks posed by these products. Even volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are an important consideration. Toxicity and the resulting health impacts of the green cleaning product is, in my mind, one of the MOST important criteria.

Green cleaning products icon - checkCost Greener cleaners typically cost no more than conventional cleaners. If you factor in the total cost of the product, i.e., the cost of health degradation from the use of traditional chemicals green cleaning products will be lower. Additionally when green cleaning is combined with improved practices overall cleaning costs will be reduced further. For instance effective entry walk-off matts prevents dirt from entering facilities in the first place, thus reducing the need for cleaning. Likewise, reducing the number of cleaning products used in a facility can eliminate excessive and unnecessary applications.
Green cleaning products icon - checkProductivity Increase and Resource Conservation It is about time. The more time we save the more productive we are. Using the best commercial cleaning products will reduce the amount of time required to clean a surface, thus increase our efficiency and in turn productivity. Selecting green cleaning products that are super concentrated with effective chemical management systems that ensure proper dilution conserves both the product consumption and the packaging, thus waste.

Green cleaning products icon - checkAre Best Practices Leveraged? There are many innovations in every aspect of our life. This is true in the cleaning industry as well. Although many like to stick to what they have always known, some great strides have been made. Selecting cutting edge tools and technology that is designed to save you money makes a difference. For instance micro-fiber cloths have changed the cleaning industry. Additionally the single use, pre-measured, super concentrate packages ensures there is no chemical waste, matched with a reduced carbon footprint for those seeking sustainable solutions.

Green cleaning products icon - checkSocially and Environmentally Responsible Environmental problems associated with conventional cleaning chemicals abound. The ingredients found in one out of three commercial cleaning products are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. These chemicals can also find their way into lakes, streams, and other water bodies (some of which may serve as drinking water sources), presenting further environmental concerns. For instance one pound of phosphorous can grow nearly 700 pounds of algae!

In summary, so many commercial and industrial users now report that green cleaners are cost competitive, perform just as well as more toxic alternatives, and are widely available. As such your selection of the BEST commercial cleaning products will include GREEN Cleaning Products.

Commercial Cleaning Products: How to Pick the Best

Commercial Cleaning Products: How to Pick the Best

There are so many different commercial cleaning products in the market place that it can easily be overwhelming. For instance, we here at Green Cleaning Products have over 800 products available for those seeking green janitorial supplies. So, how is one to identify the best commercial cleaning products? First and foremost, although it may be counterintuitive, price should not be your chief selection factor.
Commercial Cleaning Products: How to Pick the Best The right green janitorial supplies make a huge difference in how efficient and effective your cleaning routines are. This is dependent on the choosing and selection of the right supplies, knowing which products to avoid, what the best products are for each chore, and real timesaving gadgets that will help you.

No matter the building, facility, or factory and no matter how careful one may be, every surface ultimately gets dirty. Understanding these surfaces helps to determine the best commercial cleaning products for your situation. As much as we may be tempted to find one cleaner for all situations, that may not be the best strategy to keep off of the smudges, spills, and sticky spots clean.

For the best commercial cleaning products there are different ways to develop the criteria. One way, Green Cleaning Products has shared their Checklist for Selecting the Best Commercial Cleaning Products. Another way is to consider what is being cleaned. There are several factors to consider:

Surface: Know what you are cleaning. Certain products are meant to be used only on specific surfaces. If you use an abrasive cleanser on a delicate surface, you run the risk of scratching or damaging it. Additionally if you use a traditional cleaner that has a high or low pH, over time you will etch (a.k.a., damage) the surface requiring more frequent maintenance or replacement.

Intended Application: Read labels and product specification sheets to understand exactly how to use the product, the recommended dilution level, and the surfaces for which it is formulated. All Purpose cleaners are generally more versatile and can be used on more surfaces than a multi-purpose cleaner. In nearly every facility there are several surfaces that need a little extra TLC when it comes to cleaning them. These specialty surfaces give our property variety and spice, but knowing what to clean them with can be especially frustrating.

Ingredients: Choose products that will have as little impact on human health and the environment as possible.

Actual Cost: There are product lines that are quite economical, but which do not clean as well as major brands. You may think that you are saving money by choosing them, but you really are not. If you end up using more of the less expensive brand, it may not be the budget conscious decision you thought it was.

Implied Cost: In addition to the actual cost there are other implied costs that should be considered. For instance the impact on your employee health which leads to lost productivity. Fortunately the premium for green janitorial supplies is not what you may think it is, especially when the implied cost is included in your analysis.

Supplies: In addition to cleaners there are many tools available to facilitate the process including entry walk off mats to minimize the dirt tracked into the building; microfiber in all shapes and sizes to eliminate (rather than moving) the dirt and dust; gloves to protect hands from harsh chemicals and too much water; chemical management system to minimize product waste; and other equipment such as brooms, mops, scrubbers, sponges, buckets, vacuum cleaners.

How to Buy Green Products for Your Cleaning Business

How to Buy Green Products for Your Cleaning Business

One of the first questions I often hear is “how do I start buying green cleaning products for my business?” This post is a big answer to that little question!
If you would like to learn more about having a cleaning business please check out, How To Start A Cleaning Business and How To Market Your Green Cleaning Business.

Green Products for Your Cleaning Business from Green Cleaning Products LLC

What products do you use for your cleaning business?  Are they green?  If not, do you need to go green?  These are all important questions.  There are reasons to use green cleaning products and supplies that are different from the obvious one of protecting out planet.  It is good for business and it is safer for you and your team.

What is Green Cleaning

Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and developing and using methods to clean which are specifically designed to preserve both human health and environmental quality.
Eco friendly cleaning should be a holistic approach that incorporates human health and environmental impact centric solutions.  This involves more than the chemicals used to clean, but also involves the
  • supplies, equipment, tools,
  • processes and procedures, and
  • commitment to continuous improvement.

Why Is It Important to Use Green Cleaning Products

There are the 6 Reasons Why Green Cleaning Products are So Vital.
Moreover, we are exposed to residue from cleaning products whether as a cleaner (janitor, custodians, maid, housecleaner, or domestic helper) or an occupant of the building that has been cleaned.  The cleaning industry employs about 2.8 million janitors.  In addition to the professional janitorial staff, who are using cleaning products daily, many other building occupants perform light cleaning on a routine or occasional basis, e.g. dusting, wiping off desks and counters, etc.  All building occupants are also potentially exposed to the hazards and volatile components of cleaning products.

Of the estimated 85,000 chemicals in the U.S. marketplace that the average person is exposed to in their daily life, sadly, only a small fraction of them have ever been tested for their chronic impacts to human health. While Europe has banned 1,100 chemicals from use in products, the US has banned fewer than 10.  This concern increases when it takes as little as 26 seconds for a toxic chemical to get into our body.  These chemicals enter into our body through inhalation, ingestion and/or absorption.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are common in cleaning products.  As well as acute health effects, VOC’s affect indoor air quality leading to long term consequences while also contributing to smog formation in outdoor air.

Additionally most cleaning products sport a “clean and fresh” smell.  Many consumers like the way their cleaning products smell, but they may not know that fragrance can contain highly toxic substances.  Although this sounds benign, in fact the fragrances can be the most toxic aspect of the cleaning product formulation.  Fragrances are only a smidgen of the total ingredients, but they have been found to be more toxic than other ingredient … even in minute amounts.

Furthermore, cleaning chemicals have been found in those dust bunnies lurking around in the corners.  The Safer Products Project (2005) found household dust have shown high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), asthmagens and other toxic chemicals.
There is a real toll on human health from cleaning, data from Washington State show that about six percent of janitors experience a job-related injury from chemical exposure related to cleaning products every year.

The damage extends to the environment resulting from the use of cleaning products through evaporation of volatile components as well as that rinsed down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, mops, and sponges.

Like the hazards experienced by exposed humans, there is also acute and chronic toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes. For example, if an ingredient is harmful to humans (such as alkylphenol ethoxylates, a common surfactant ingredient in cleaners and a known endocrine disrupter) the same adverse reproductive effects can be seen in wildlife exposed to polluted waters.

Benefits of Buying Green Cleaning Products

Good news! There is an option and a way to minimize the danger, which is to select and source only green cleaning products.  This means to choose less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes.  In researching options, seek and select products that demonstrate:
  • fragrance free,
  • biodegradability,
  • ingredients that are made from renewable resources,
  • safe (noncorrosive & nonreactive)
  • low toxicity,
  • low volatile organic compound (VOC) content,
  • reduced packaging, and
  • low life cycle energy use.
Furthermore, buying cleaners in concentrates with reusable, reduced, or recyclable packaging such as a high quality reusable spray bottle, reduces storage requirements, decreases chemical surplus, minimizes packaging waste and shrinks transportation energy.
Even better, procuring less hazardous cleaners may reduce costs when it comes time to properly dispose of any leftover cleaner.

This goes a long way in reducing exposure and minimize harmful impacts to cleaners and building occupants, improving indoor air quality, and decreasing water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning.

How to Buy Green Cleaning Products

Greenwashing is common in the cleaning products industry.  As such be especially careful in interpreting vague or generic claims such as “environmentally friendly,” “eco safe,” and “green”.

The easiest way to ensure you are not being greenwashed is to only purchase and use cleaners that carry one or more of the third party certifications available for cleaning products (i.e., Green Seal, EcoLogo, and/or DfE / Safer Choice. These certifications enable you to have confidence that the cleaners are nontoxic with a low impact on the environment.

There is no need on becoming a chemist yourself to interpret the ingredient list!  It is also valuable to note that part of the certification criteria is efficacy of the cleaner.
This you can be confident that the cleaner works for the designated application.