School Custodians Choose Clean and Green
(From an article by Sarah Wilson for the Bristol Press)
Dave Fortin, a Building and Grounds Supervisor in Burlington, Connecticut, is playing an essential role in reducing his school district’s carbon footprint. Fortin is working with custodial staff at Lake Garda Elementary School to make small changes that can have a big impact on the school’s environment.
“These guys have been cleaning the same way for many years,” Fortin notes. “In the past few weeks, their whole routine has changed, but the changes are being embraced.” The changes are making the job easier and safer for custodians while greening the school environment and saving money, Fortin said. Fortin’s efforts began with the creation of a “Green Team” at Lake Garda. The committee includes custodial staff, a supply vendor, support staff, teachers, administrators, and a parent.
The simple but powerful changes include:
*New microfiber mops and cleaning cloths that pick up more dirt and can be laundered. “We will not be throwing mops away anymore,” Fortin said.
*Environmentally safe, concentrated cleaners, hand soaps, and laundry detergent. Concentrated cleaners reduce the number of plastic containers the school orders, and save money on shipping costs.
*Environmentally friendly paper products
*Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). As incandescent light bulbs burn out over time, custodians replace them with CFLs. “We want to be conscious of the environment, but we have to remain financially responsible as well,” Fortin said. La Garda’s greening efforts will soon be expanded to other schools in the district.