The Groton public schools began a shift to green cleaning practices four years ago in an effort to improve indoor air quality and limit exposure to potentially harmful materials. Even small changes can have a big impact on each school’s environment. The initial obstacles were the cost of the products and breaking old habits. We overcame these obstacles by bringing in solution control systems and motivating custodian and staff to implement a green program. The changes are making the job easier and safer for custodians while greening the school environment.
Green custodial products currently in use include floor finishes, hand soap, neutral cleaners, and disinfectants. Some of those products include but are not limited to: Genesan products such as Linpol (floor clear and protectant), Enzysan (restroom biological clear), Delta mild (Daily floor cleaner), Delta Ultra (HD all-purpose cleaner), Hyperfect (disinfectant cleaner), and Product Central #102 (peroxide based cleaner). Equipment used includes kalvac backpacks and upright vacuums with hepa filters. Cleaning procedures include microfiber technology, bathroom cleaning methods, and the elimination of cross contamination. New green products are continually being evaluated and made part of the program if found to be effective. We also benefit from having fewer products and better cleaning techniques. Green cleaning materials are used in all spaces in the facilities as appropriate.
Each of our schools has a “tools for Schools” Indoor Air Quality Committee consisting of Principals, School Nurses, Parents, Custodians, and Administration Representatives. These committees address indoor air quality complaints at each school and are trained to discover potential indoor air quality problems before they affect our environment. A green clean approach is more than just using chemicals. It has everything to do with health and developing environmentally safe and healthy cleaning techniques. As we continue to develop this program, other areas need to be discussed and researched such as clean energy and the use of products manufactured using environmentally friendly techniques. Healthy and environmentally friendly facilities foster academic achievement and well-being of building occupants. Green cleaning products do not contain ingredients that cause asthma.
Some of the actions being taken by staff to maintain and improve air quality include:
- Live plants, aquariums, and pets are not kept in classrooms unless they are part of a planned educational program.
- Deodorizers are not used.
- Only cleaning and sanitization products purchased by the schools are used in the schools. No one is allowed to bring to schools cleaners, disinfectants, etc.
- Staff is required to report sources of dampness to their head custodian such as roof leaks, piping leaks, window leaks, spilled water, etc. Growth of mold and mildew can be controlled by limiting moisture.
- The presence of insects and pests is reported immediately.
- Paper products in classrooms are limited to essentials. Paper holds moisture and can affect indoor air quality.
For more information please contact the Supervisor of Custodians in the office of Buildings & Grounds at 860-572-2193.