…and How Do They Help?
Thinking of implementing a green cleaning program? First Image will customize a program for your company, complete with our proven processes, using some or all of these items, depending on your needs.
This list is not all-inclusive. First Image, Inc. can design a program that addresses your specific needs, even if they are unusual or challenging.
First Image can help you efficiently go green. Providing cleaning strategies and complete earth friendly janitorial and maintenance services used in our program are proven to yield optimal results.
Environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals
General purpose, washroom, glass, and carpet cleaning products that meet Green Seal’s Standard for Industrial and Institutional Cleaners (GS-37). These will clean effectively while helping to reduce toxic pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion.
Hand soaps that do not contain antimicrobial agents
Except where required by law or regulations (i.e., healthcare or food preparation), employing a strong antibiotic agent such as triclosan for everyday use is not recommended. It kills some of the harmful microscopic organisms, but it also destroys beneficial bacteria. These friendly bacteria are necessary in our bodies and environment; for example, they aid metabolism and inhibit the invasion of harmful pathogens.
Also, the safety of triclosan has been questioned. While the companies that manufacturer products containing this chemical claim that it is safe, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered it as a pesticide. The EPA gives triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk.
Microfiber dusting cloths and flat mops
Microfiber material used in mops and dust cloths have microscopic “hooks” that act as claws, scraping up and holding dust and dirt. The material is very effective for cleaning, because the fibers quickly and easily capture dirt rather than just moving it around. Microfiber, which can absorb up to 7 times its weight in water, is sometimes described as having a magnetic attraction to dirt and dust.
Cleaning with microfiber products is environmentally friendly because chemical use can be minimized. Microfiber products are lint free, extremely soft and do not scratch surfaces, but at the same time, they are sturdy and tough on dirt. Test results show microfiber can reduce bacteria levels by 96% yet requires less labor.
Proper door mats and entry systems
Most pollutants in buildings are brought in from outside and spread throughout, so capturing contaminants at entryways is an easy way to keep the building clean, which in turn, minimizes the use of harsh chemicals and keeps the inside air cleaner. The most effective mats have rubber-reinforced face nubs and a crush-proof waffle design. A raised-rubber “water-dam” border traps dirt and water, keeping carpets and floors clean by working double duty, absorbing water while scraping shoes.
Efficient vacuums and floor care systems
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CARPET CLEANING MEANS LONGER CARPET LIFE
For environmentally friendly carpet cleaning, First Image prefers Carpet & Rug Institute approved (“Green Label”) vacuum cleaners. These highly efficient, pollutant-capturing vacuums improve indoor air quality. They also increase the life span of carpets. Another environmentally friendly carpet cleaning option includes the use of carpet extractors that reduce water consumption.
Soil Removal – Must remove a set quantity of soil from carpet in four passes.
Dust Containment – Must not release more than 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter of air. This protocol evaluates the total amount of dust particles released by the brush rolls, through the filtration bag and via any air leaks from the system, and is more stringent than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Carpet Appearance Retention – Should not affect the appearance of the carpet more than a one-step change based on one year of normal vacuum use.
High performance vacuum cleaners have a significant impact on improved indoor air quality (IAQ). At the same time, vacuums that effectively remove and contain soil while keeping the carpet looking good will help carpets last longer. Ultimately, better performing vacuums provide a greater return on investment and ensure a healthier indoor environment.
Backpack vacuums increase productivity. They’ve been proven by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) to double the speed of cleaning versus standard upright vacuums.
Because vacuums are the most audible of daily cleaning tools, low decibel vacuums are preferred to protect hearing and minimize “noise pollution.” The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that cleaning equipment be no louder than 85 decibels. Good vacuums range between 61-80 decibels.
High-speed burnishers with active vacuum attachments can capture fine particles and save labor costs.
Carpet extractors and automatic floor scrubbers that reduce water consumption minimize impact on the environment and save costs.
High efficiency HVAC systems, using HEPA filters
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters remove a minimum of 99.97% of contaminants at 0.3 microns in size. In comparison, a human hair is about 60-75 microns in diameter. Particles less than 35 microns can’t be seen with the naked eye. Pollen is in the 10-100 micron range, with dust at .5-5 microns. Particles under 5 microns can penetrate deep into the lungs.
Wise lighting solutions
Newer designs in lightbulbs, especially florescent, can reduce energy consumption by up to 75%.
Occupancy sensors turn lights off automatically when no one is in a room.
Daylighting uses natural light to illuminate buildings and is the most economical and environmentally responsible lighting technique available today.
- Saves money on energy bills
- Makes a statement that you care about the environment
- Helps people and organizations succeed
- Shoppers linger longer and buy more
- Students do better on tests
- Offices experience less absenteeism.
Recycled paper products, such as tissue and paper towels
These should meet EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines and Green Seal’s Standards for Tissue (GS-1) and Towels (GS-9) for recycled content in janitorial paper products bleached without the use of harmful chlorine or its derivatives
Environmentally preferable paper dispensing systems.
Products dispensed from large rolls minimize packaging and waste. Folded paper towels are discouraged.
“Hands-free” paper towel dispensers reduce the potential for cross-contamination, control the amount of paper used, minimize waste and reduce maintenance time.