by Wendy Gabriel
GREEN TIP: Switch to green cleaning products to improve your health, lessen adverse environmental impacts and save money.
Did you know 25% of chemicals in the cleaning products used in schools are toxic and contribute to poor indoor air quality, smog, cancer, asthma, and other disease? There is a better way to clean. Source: Cleaning for Healthy Schools
According to Janelle Sorensen with Healthy Child Healthy World, “Luckily, safer cleaning products are now widely available and cost effective. As a result, child care centers and schools across the country are switching to green cleaners to improve health, increase staff performance, lessen adverse environmental impacts, reduce potential liabilities, and save money.”
Janelle wrote a fabulous article entitled, “Getting Your Child’s School or Child Care Center to Clean Green.” on the Healthy Child Healthy World’s blog. She gives us the steps on how to get your childcare provider or school to make the switch:
1. Get informed. Use the resources linked here to get up to speed on the benefits of going green and the tools available to help schools and child care centers make the switch. It’s much easier for them to address the “problem” if you have solutions in hand.
2. Talk to someone with the authority to do something. That may be your school’s superintendent, a school board member or the manager of your child care center, or they may direct you straight to whomever is in charge of maintaining the facility.
3. Approach every person you talk to as an ally, not an enemy. Remember the fundamentals of How to Win Friends and Influence People – like not criticizing people, showing appreciation for their work, smiling. Trust me, you will get much farther much faster if you employ kindness, gratitude, and diplomacy. You want to be seen as an invaluable asset, not as an incessant nag.
4. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they are doing their job to the best of their ability. School and child care professionals are typically overworked, underpaid, with a lot to do and inadequate funding to get it done. Make yourself available. Keep asking “what can I do to help?”
Here are some of My Green Side’s favorite green cleaning tips:
Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.
Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water, making it into a paste. Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean without the toxic fumes.
Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a soft cloth or newspaper to wipe.
Also, check out The Green Guide, it has some great DIY Household Cleaners including this great tip: spraying hydrogen peroxide and vinegar right after one another is just as effective at killing germs as lung-irritating, stream-polluting chlorine bleach.
My Green Side’s weekly website pick:
Green Living Ideas
A great site that provides ideas, tips, and information to help you improve the environmental sustainability of every aspect of your life: home energy, green building and remodeling, cars, food, waste recycling—and everything in between. They’ve assembled the world’s top green living authors and experts to bring you the latest info on green and sustainable living.
Green Living Idea’s editorial voice is driven by founder Sean Daily, and implemented by an amazing staff of regular and guest bloggers.
Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.