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Last month in Newsbyte we looked at “Eight Money Savings Tips For Your Church Facility” and we left you with a cliff hanger, our No. 8—Start “going green” with your cleaning. This month we are going to look at how green cleaning can actually save you green.

Before we get started, let’s make sure that you understand that you can go green without being a tree hugger or an environmentalist whacko. If you are interested in saving money, providing a safe facility for your staff and guests and/or are concerned about caring for the creation God has entrusted to us, then you are ready to start going green. Here are some tips:

1. Bleach is bad – I hate to be the bearer of bad news…. Have you ever spent an extended period of time exposed to bleach and wonder why your sense of smell is not functioning normally? What you are doing is burning the inside tissues and membranes of your nose. Do you really want to expose your members, staff, children and guests to this? Find another product. Remember, you can’t smell “clean” … just the chemicals.

2. Start backpacking – I am not suggesting a camping trip but rather making the change to backpack vacuums. Backpack vacuum cleaners are lightweight and allow for increased mobility. They can fit in areas where other vacuums do not. They maximize productivity and have been proven to double the speed of cleaning vs. standard upright vacuums.

3. To mat or not to mat - In a green building an entrance mat is the first line of defense against contaminants and particles entering the building. About 85% of all dirt enters a building on the feet of the building occupants. The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) estimates that it can cost approximately $500-$700 to remove one pound of dirt from a facility. So the best way to save money is to keep the dirt from entering the building.

4. Choose green certified cleaning chemicals – Typically speaking, we spend more hours indoors than outdoors. For this reason, it is important to use cleaning practices that promote good indoor air quality. Green certified cleaning chemicals are designed to give you the cleaning performance you require while protecting the health of users and building occupants. Your cleaning policy should outline the use of green certified chemicals whenever possible.

5. Microfiber cloths - The best thing since soap and water – Yes, it’s true. Microfiber towels are hands-down the best cleaning product on the market. Here’s the rundown: microfiber towels will make your cleaning easier because they …

Have electrostatic cleaning. That means when you dust your computer screens, the dust won’t just fly away and then redeposit on the screen or the desk because it has an electrostatic charge.

Offer a better cleaning surface than cotton. Microfiber cloths have a waffle-type texture that traps dirt and dust and actually grips the dirt. The nubby texture works well on reflective surfaces.

Can be washed and re-used over and over. Unlike sponges that can’t be washed or paper towels that are thrown away, you can use microfiber towels repeatedly. In fact, you can reuse most microfiber cloths up to 500 times. Think how much you can save in paper towels and other products. The average microfiber cleaning cloth is about $3 … so at 500 uses, that is less than one cent per use.

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"About 85% of all dirt enters a building on the feet of the building occupants. The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) estimates that it can cost approximately $500-$700 to remove one pound of dirt from a facility. So the best way to save money is to keep the dirt from entering the building." Tim Cool, Cool Solutions Group