For Churches Only: Going Green Economically
By 2010, the Army Distaff Foundation/Knollwood, the first military retirement community in the country located in Washington, D.C., had decided to transfer from a traditional cleaning strategy – using cleaning products that are not Green certified or considered environmentally preferable – to one that is.
According to Cynthia Akins, director of Environmental Services at the facility, “Upon learning that the chemicals and procedures we use to clean indoor spaces can cause mild to severe allergic reactions and asthmatic responses, I knew we needed to adopt a program that would consider the environmental impact of cleaning on human health.”
Many church facilities are in the same position as this military retirement community. Instead of just elderly people, religious facilities have people from all walks of life, young and old, and most administrators now know that some of the traditional cleaning products used for years in their churches can negatively impact the health of many congregants. This can occur even when the products are used properly, but becomes a much more serious concern when the products are not used as directed.
The retirement center even took their Green Cleaning journey a step further. They got involved with GreenSeal’s GS-42 Green Cleaning training program, which focuses on cleaning procedures that reduce cleaning’s impact on the environment and promote sustainability, as well as the proper uses of Green Cleaning chemicals, products, equipment, and tools.
According to Akins, this program “provided us with instruction on product selection, healthy cleaning techniques…[and] enabled us to educate our entire staff [on Green Cleaning] cost effectively.”
Based on this training, and with the help of an astute janitorial product distributor guiding them through the process, the retirement center made the following changes: