Several years ago, Dr. Greg Norris of the Harvard School of Public Health, made a startling observation when it comes to green floors and green floorcare. He concluded that many green floors while designed to be sustainable and reduce a facility’s environmental foot print, may lose all of these benefits the first time they are cleaned, stripped, or refinished using conventional floorcare products such as cleaners, restorers, strippers, and floor finishes.
“The amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted [by these ingredients] from a single waxing is comparable to the amount of VOCs emitted from a Green floor over its entire lifetime,” wrote Dr. Norris. In essence, what he was saying has proven to be a “green wake-up call” in many ways. First of all, his conclusion said that something has to be done with current floorcare products so that they have a reduced impact on the environment.
But this leads to another wake-up call, which is the need to realize that green cleaning, including green floorcare, is only as strong as its weakest (or least green) link. In other words, what is the point of investing in a green floor if the ingredients of the products used to clean the floor eliminate all its environmental benefits?
Before exploring this further, let’s first define a green floor. In most cases, the key components of a green floor include the following:
Durable – A green floor must meet the same standards, when it comes to how well it performs, as a conventional floor.
Locally grown – If the products used to make the floor are locally sourced, this can reduce transportation needs.
Recycled – Some of the most durable and widely accepted green floors are made of recycled materials, including other green and conventional floors.
From managed forests - Essentially, a managed forest refers to planting new trees to replace those that have been cut down for flooring and other materials.
As to the types of chemicals used to clean and maintain green floors, Betco manufactures green and sustainable products that are designed to meet, if not exceed, current environmentally preferable floorcare standards established by leading green certification organizations. Among the environmental attributes of these green floorcare products are the following:
- They contain no 2-butoxyethanol (butyl) and no alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs)
- There are no alkaline builders
- Have a pH of less than 10.0 when diluted per label instructions
- No carcinogenic ingredients are used
- These are non-combustible products
- Are engineered to have low skin, eye, and respiratory irritation potential
- Use solution designed to reduce smog formation
- Have no ozone-depleting substances
- Primary packaging is recyclable
- Contain no heavy metals to disturb the natural waste stream
Cleaning professionals and facility managers are advised that these products do not necessarily need to be used only on green floors. They may be used on most all types of hard surface floors, helping to reduce a facility’s environmental impact whether or not green floors have been installed.
Betco made a name for itself by providing quality, easy to use, long lasting floorcare products as well as green floorcare chemicals and equipment. For more information, visit www.betco.com or contact a Betco representative.