Looking to create more healthful, productive learning environments? The winners of the 2008 Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities have some insight to share.
The winners of the second annual award, featured in a special section, were announced last month at the inaugural Green Clean Schools National Summit. Representatives from education institutions, national organizations, state and community activists, corporate leaders and others came together to review successful green-cleaning strategies and develop networks for supporting green efforts.
Coordinated by the Healthy Schools Campaign, a partner in American School & University's Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities, the summit explored green cleaning, how to build advocacy and support, communication strategies and more.
A number of states require or encourage green cleaning in schools:
- In 2006, New York became the first state to require green cleaning in schools, establishing guidelines that must be used for environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in K-12 facilities.
- In 2007, Illinois passed legislation requiring schools to develop a green-cleaning policy, and to purchase and use environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products.
- Missouri and Maine have green-cleaning laws that are structured as guidelines rather than requirements.
- California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington all introduced legislation on green cleaning in the past two years.
The writing is on the proverbial wall (which will be cleaned with green products). The trend is toward green cleaning and maintenance, and if you have not investigated green cleaning or are relying on misinformation, such as it is too expensive or does not work as effectively as traditional methods, you are falling further behind the curve.
Learn from those that are leading the charge by viewing this year's award recipients — and you, too, can champion a more healthful, sustainable approach to cleaning while protecting health and the environment.
Agron is editor-in-chief of AS&U.