Why Should Businesses Be More Environmentally Friendly?

We all know why and how to make changes in our own homes to do better for the environment and help save our planet from further damage, but it’s easy to forget our places of work. We spend a quarter of our lives at work and not following the right steps can be damaging to our own health, as well as the planet.

Your workplace may already have recycling bins, energy-saving bulbs and cycle-to-work schemes but have you ever considered how the building is cleaned? With more than 1,000 commercial cleaning London companies alone, it can be hard to filter through contractors to find the right one who does the job properly but also cares for the environment.

There is also the added problem of company directors reluctant to make any cleaning changes. This can be down to many reasons, from cost to ignorance. However, with the right information, it can quickly become obvious why businesses across the globe should be making the switch and become a greener office.

It’s Good For Us

It’s no new revelation that chemical cleaning products aren’t great for our health, after all, those bright warning labels are there for a reason.

However, it isn’t just contact or accidental consumption that impacts our own health. All chemicals cleaners have to be washed and wiped away so they do not contaminate surfaces with harsh chemicals.

These chemicals are then rinsed and flushed down our drains and often not a second thought is given to them. But these chemicals have to end up somewhere, water waste plants try their best to remove these chemicals but the overall process is incredibly hard to do.

Unfortunately, this means chemicals are released into our water systems, marine life live within this, consuming these toxins.

These creatures could end up on your plate next time you have a seafood dinner. While eating a tiny fragment of contaminated meat probably won’t do much harm, over time, as more chemicals end up in our rivers and oceans and more generations of marine life are exposed to this, we could end up with harmful consequences.

If you suffer from asthma or similar conditions that affect breathing, you could unknowingly be exposed to danger at work. Monoethanolamine is an ingredient in many cleaners and can cause inflammation, leading to asthma attacks.

For this reason, many schools and nurseries have banned products containing these and work tightly with their contract cleaners to ensure children and staff are not exposed. However, there is no regulation within the workplace for this yet.

It’s Good For Our Work

Even if you can’t smell cleaning products, they are still there, lingering throughout the office and impacting us.

Most modern office buildings now opt for air conditioning instead of open windows. Great for hotter months but this means poor air is in constant circulation and toxins aren’t removed.

GCC Green Cleaning Infographic

Poor air quality decreases our productivity. In fact, employees who work within a green condition perform better with cognitive tasks than those who work within a standard environment. Doubling ventilation within a green environment can increase cognitive performance by up to 100%.

If you have been battling with your bosses to change to green cleaning and they are yet to agree, simply show them those stats and they will certainly think differently.

It’s Just As Effective As Chemical Cleaning

Some believe that green cleaning products don’t produce the same results as conventional cleaners. In reality, you can achieve the exact same results. It is true that a little more of the product may have to be used as sulphates are removed and a little extra elbow grease is required to get soap suds to appear.

Green cleaning companies are trained to know how these all work and can implement the right methods to get the job done right. 

Another worry is bacteria will not be killed, surely chemicals are required to get rid of the common cold and flu virus? Actually, simple household ingredients can kill these and ensure workforces are safe from falling ill. Vinegar has been proven to kill the cold and flu virus, it makes a brilliant multi-surface cleaner and can even be used for a streak-free finish glass cleaner.

Unfortunately vinegar doesn’t provide a pleasant smell, but mixing with warm water and a few drops of essential oil can leave a fresh and clean scent in the office.

It Can Save Money

If there’s any reason for bosses to change their mind about cleaning, the promise of reducing costs is a very tempting one.

While the initial purchase of green cleaning supplies may be more expensive, most last longer. For example, replacing paper towels in bathrooms with washable ones will decrease expenditure over time. 

If your office supplies its own cleaning products, buying refillable bottles and making your own natural cleaning products will come out at just a fraction of the cost.

A simple carpet freshener can be made from 10 drops of a preferred essential oil with a cup of baking soda, leave for a few hours and vacuum. An effective disinfectant can be produced with 2 teaspoon of borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups of water.

Even the dreaded blocked kitchen sink can be tackled with green cleaning products with ½ cup of baking soda, followed by ½ cup of vinegar. The two together break down fatty acids, follow with boiling water roughly minutes after and your drain will be back to normal.

It’s 2020 and there really is little excuse for businesses to make this change. The more demand for green cleaning services, the more pressure conventional commercial cleaners will feel and be forced to change to adhere to the market.

If we all made the changes at work, our environment will significantly benefit and we will feel happier and healthier for doing so.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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