February 25, 2012

Cleaning Week - Day 4 - Universities Setting an Example

I'm watching the KU vs. Missouri basketball game while writing this post (Rock Chalk) so thought a post on universities would be appropriate.

A number of universities have revamped their cleaning practices and/or providers in recent years, below are highlights from the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) and Harvard University.  UMKC was a winner of the 2011 Green Cleaning Awards (1 of 6 universities honored) and I selected Harvard since it's a premier university in the U.S. (and the world).


UMKC - Notes about changes the school has implemented to their cleaning practices

  1. A 5-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found concentrations of 20 toxic compounds 
    were as many as 200 times higher in the air inside homes and offices than outdoors.
  2. This switch has halved the amount spent on cleaners, a reduction from $300,000 in 2008 to $140,000 in 2011 for the green cleaners and Green Seal-certified hand soap. 
  3. Since the implementation of the green cleaning program, hundreds of toxic chemicals have been eliminated from use on campus and have been replaced with just three daily cleaners with environmentally friendly ingredients.
Harvard - Suggestions for green cleaning at home
  1. Use cleaning products that:
    1. Are phosphate free
    2. Have plant-based and/or biodegradable products
    3. Are not petroleum based
  2. Use reusable micro-fiber cloths instead of disposable cloths
  3. Minimize the use of anti-bacterial soap
  4. Do not use bleach as a cleaning product
  5. Do not use aerosols
  6. Harvard also includes a list of hazardous ingredients to avoid.
Suggested action steps:

  1. Consider implementing some of the suggested practices from Harvard
  2. Ask your employer or apartment manager what cleaning products they use.  You have the right to know what materials are present in your place of work and residence.  Don't be surprised if your employer doesn't know.

1 comment:

  1. K-S-U Wildcats! I don't know where we went wrong with you...