So what constitutes ‘environmentally friendly’?
Something that doesn’t adversely impact on the environment is the simple answer. The problem is – that just about everything we do impacts on the environment, from breathing to driving, from eating to cleaning. So using less environmentally damaging chemicals, which can degrade without putting too much demand on the ecosystem will be a small but significant start.
Janitorial Supplies endeavour to use less harmful, less aggressive raw-materials in the cleaning and maintenance products we produce, but we accept that occasionally only something aggressive will be required. Our answer to this is that the raw materials used should degrade quickly & easily, which is done in the drainage system, so it is also important that cleaning waste is never disposed of through a storm drain, only a sewer.
Rule one for us in developing any cleaning products is that it should perform (work). There is no point in producing more waste, so we need to satisfy our customers that because it is ‘green’ it isn’t necessarily wishy-washy and that they will need twice as much and that it will take twice as long.
The next consideration is that it should be simple. We don’t believe our customers will want to stand on their heads or perform cartwheels so that the “special ingredients” can work. They invariably want to continue with their lives, but they’d also like to impact less on their environment, & it is simply the impact on the environment that our actions have, which is the ‘enviro’ consideration. Therefore we believe that thought should be given to the selection of ‘chemicals’ when undertaking a task. It is also worth noting that, invariably, an aggressive chemical (which is quite likely to be harmful to the environment) could also damage the surface (or finish) of the item being cleaned. This ultimately enables soiling to enter the substrate, making it more difficult to clean next time.
Obviously there are occasions when an aggressive chemical will be the only way of resolving a problem, such as killing germs, etc. Here, as with using any toxic substance thought must be given to the amount used, the dilution and the ultimate disposal.
So it’s simple. Something that works and is environmentally less harmful than the alternatives – otherwise why not use the alternative?