The practice of green cleaning benefits the maintenance staff and occupants of a building by eliminating or reducing the amounts of VOCs, carcinogens, and other harmful elements introduced to the indoor environment during cleaning activities. This practice can also be used to gain Indoor Environmental quality credits described in the LEED-EB (existing building) system, as well as potential Innovation credits in the other systems such as LEED-NC (New construction).
The fist step is to establish a Green Cleaning policy that addresses the following:
- Sustainable cleaning systems
- Sustainable cleaning products
- Chemical concentrates & dilution systems
- Proper personnel training for maintenance staff
- Use of hand soaps that don't contain antimicrobial agents (other than as a presevative system), except where required by health codes and other regulatory agencies
- Use of cleaning equipment that reduce negative impact on the indoor environmental quality
For further information on attaining these credits, consult the US Green Building Council's website.
Green Cleaning tips for natural Stone:
- Always apply cleaning method to a test area to ensure no harmful reaction to the stone surface
- Use mild, non-abrasive soaps (such as dishwashing liquids) and warm water applied with a soft cloth or sponge
- Avoid abrasive cleaners, vinegar, or lemon-based cleaners as their acidity can potentially damage the finish of the stone
- When selecting manufactured cleaners for stone, look for Green Seal of Approval or otherwise verify low environmental impact with the manufacturer.
Learn more about Green Seal at their official website.