States Rack Up Green Cleaning Successes
More than a dozen states -- large, small, east, west and central -- have passed bills requiring green cleaning in schools in the last couple of years. The leaders, New York and Illinois, were followed by Maryland, Missouri, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, and most recently, Iowa. All are requiring that schools use less-toxic cleaning products that meet nationally recognized green standards. Momentum is growing, as about a half dozen other states caught on in 2009-10, introducing legislation for green cleaning in schools.
"Even in states that have not yet passed laws, like California, school districts are working to get ahead of the curve and establish their own green cleaning and purchasing programs," says Deborah Moore, Executive Director of the Green Schools Initiative.
Through the "Cleaning for Asthma Safe Schools" (CLASS) project, Green Schools Initiative and the California Department of Public Health have worked with three school districts and one charter school network this year to help them make the switch, including Long Beach, Manteca, and Alameda Unified School Districts, and the California Conservation Corps charter schools network.
The Ojai Unified School District has switched to green cleaners and also adopted a district-wide Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy that encourages the district to give first preference to environmentally-friendly products, from cleaners to cafeteria supplies, from copy paper to rechargeable batteries.
Is your school ahead of the curve? Use our Green Cleaning Toolkit to help you get started on encouraging your district to make the switch and establish its own green cleaning directive. Power to the (green cleaning) people!