Green Schools

Green Cleaning: Winning Work

During the summer break there are two opportunities for schools and universities to be recognized for outstanding efforts in green cleaning. Participation in both is easy and free. 

The first opportunity is registering for custodial training with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools. The second is applying for the Green Cleaning Awards sponsored by the Healthy Schools Campaign, Green Cleaning Network and American School & University.

The Center for Green Schools is promoting the Green Apple Day of Service cataloging volunteer efforts to help schools. Among the many initiatives being promoted is Custodial Training to Protect Kids, Staff and the Environment, a project sponsored by the Healthy Schools Campaign, ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) and The Ashkin Group.

Training custodians on effective cleaning processes, protecting health and reducing environmental impacts is essential for helping schools meet their educational goals. Whether it is initiating new custodial workers, expanding the knowledge of current workers, adopting new processes, or testing new technologies, success depends upon effective training. 

In addition to the Center’s overall objective of supporting schools, this particular program is trying to recognize schools and universities for their efforts to train custodians. Unfortunately, this training often goes unseen or is taken for granted by students, staff and the community. Thus this project will create an opportunity for recognition as each program will receive a certificate of participation from the sponsors. What’s more, this training is designed to be adopted as the normal summer training regimen, so it requires nothing new or unique.

Registering for this project is easy. Just go to www.mygreenapple.org/greencleaning. Simply enter some basic information about your school, the type of training, number of custodians being trained and the number of students served. This information will help bring attention to the great work that schools and universities are doing to protect our workers, staff and kids.

The second opportunity is the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. Now in its 9th year, the Award was founded in the belief that a green cleaning program is about much more than choice of chemicals or recycled paper products. It’s about investing in the future, cleaning for health, and educating everyone involved. It’s about getting school stakeholders and the entire community excited about the program.

Presented by Healthy Schools Campaign, American School & University and the Green Cleaning Network, the Green Cleaning Awards highlight schools with innovative, health-focused and environmentally minded cleaning programs. Judging criteria are based on the Healthy Schools Campaign’s “Five Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools.”

Award winners are profiled in the December issue of American School & University, which goes to more than 62,000 school leaders across the nation. Winners are also interviewed and spotlighted in the Healthy Schools Campaign newsletter and blog, read by thousands of subscribers. Winners become instantly recognized as leaders in their field and are invited to participate in HSC webinars, panels and training programs to share their stories with a national audience.

The application process is simple. Does your school have an outstanding Green Cleaning program? Have you seen improvements in staff morale, student health or the bottom line since you implemented Greener Cleaning practices? Has your community been engaged and supportive of your Green Cleaning program? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are a great candidate for the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. 

The application can be found online at www.asumag.com/green-cleaning-award. The deadline for applying is September 11, 2015.

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