Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Conservation in Commercial Cleaning
Green commercial cleaning services can assist your organization with conservation programs like the University of Minnesota’s ‘It All Adds Up’ initiative.
Green Commercial Cleaning Services and Conservation Initiatives
Accordingandnbsp;to the University of Minnesota, the purpose of the ‘It All Adds Up’ program is to promote sustainability for the purposes of supporting;
[sic]…a continuous effort integrating environmental, social, and economic goals through design, planning, and operational organization to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The initiative focuses on hands-on and community outreach programs, such as:
- Student organizations.
- Living labs.
- Campus program tours.
- Free classes, and;
- Volunteer work.
Through these activities, students, faculty, and local community members learn the importances of:
- Energy conservation.
- Waste management.
- Land and wildlife care, and;
- Smart product purchasing guidelines.
Integrating the same types of programs at your school or business is possible with the assistance of an experienced commercial cleaning services provider, certified in green cleaning technologies, and sustainable building practices.
Green commercial cleaning reduces energy consumption through the use of technology advancements, such as microfiber and grey water systems, that significantly reduce pressures placed on water utilization, as well as gas required to heat water for cleaning and laundering.
- Microfiber cloths can be used efficiently with cold water, require fewer bucket change outs when compared to conventional cloth or cotton towels and mops, and can withstand far more laundering cycles, reducing landfill contribution and energy costs for transportation of waste.
- Modern green cleaning equipment, such as floor scrubbers and buffers, are designed to be more energy efficient than they have been in previous years, consuming far less water, and allowing for IoT monitoring and path/route optimization to reduce run time and energy consumption.
- Greywater systems allow for the social and environmentally responsible recycling of waste water used in the cleaning process for the purposes of irrigation, and potentially potable water use after proper treatment and testing.
No sustainability initiative is possible without an actionable plan to handle organic and recyclable/reusable waste, as well as phase out the use of products developed or manufactured through unsustainable processes.
- Organic waste should be separated and used or donated as compost or pig feed.
- Nearly every product used in an office or school can, and should, be recycled. andnbsp;The trick is to make access and separation as simple as possible by locating color-coded bins in convenient, high-traffic locations, and adjacent to any installed, generic garbage bin.
- The most important aspect of waste management is product reuse. andnbsp;Everydayandnbsp;unnecessary tons of reusable waste, such as cardboard boxes, unused office supplies, and office furniture, enters local landfills.
A 2013 report published by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency showed the potential for a tremendous amount of reusable and recyclable waste to be redirected towards environmentally sound endeavors, concluding;
[sic]…there are potential opportunities for additional materials diversion from disposal. Overall, the Project Team has identified potential diversion opportunities based on the largest quantities of recyclable and/or compostable materials estimated to compose the statewide mixed municipal solid waste stream including the following:
• Food waste.
• Compostable paper.
• Bag and film plastic, and;
• Wood waste.
Additional analysis should be undertaken to evaluate the recovered materials markets for each of these materials and other potentially recoverable materials.
Land care goes beyond gardening and basic water conservation policies, such as days, times, or possible drought conditions.
- Recycling organic waste into compost for use in facility landscape significantly reduces the need for chemical fertilizer use, while eliminating tons of useful waste entering landfills.
- IoT managed, moisture detection systems can be programmed to run sprinkler systems when soil moisture evaporation reaches a specified level, ensuring that water is only used when, and for as long, as necessary to maintain the health of the foliage, plants, and vegetables.
- Integrated pest control procedures protect building occupants and local species by eliminating the use of toxic chemical pesticides in favor of source/attraction elimination, such as standing water, or through natural means, such as introducing natural predators or non-toxic traps.
Product purchasing is the most difficult aspect for most organizations to navigate, as it pertains to full sustainability.
- Simply going green is insufficient. andnbsp;Products must be purchased from manufacturers that adhere to sustainable practices as well, or the entire concept is self-defeating.
- The most cost-effective route is to consult with an experienced commercial cleaning services provider to advise on centralized vendor partnerships for product purchasing.
References and Resources
- Sustainability – Facilities Management (Twin Cities)
Sustainable conservation efforts and business practices go beyond recycling and green cleaning product use, extending out to a conscientious utilization of all natural resources, and returning them to the environment with no toxins or poisons, thereby ensuring their continued safe use for generations to come.
A full-spectrum approach is required to achieve real and lasting sustainable practices, which can be difficult to approach on your own but, with the right partner, transitioning your school or business can be a rewarding experience.
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