My interview with Scott Kelly from Gentle Earth Cleaning products.
Scott can you tell us your views on using Green Cleaning Products in the workplace.
“When I was 7 years old, we had a septic system on our property. I learnt from an early age the importance of knowing what went down the drain. Then, I learnt from my friends in the city that everything that went down their drains went straight into the ocean, and that really bothered me. My mission in starting Gentle Earth products was to provide green alternatives for a healthy planet, a healthy home and a healthy workplace.”
The importance of quality ingredients in cleaning products.
“Quality of ingredients is critically important. You have got to know what is in your food and you have to know what is in your cleaning products. Does the commercial cleaning company cleaning your workplace right now know what is in those products? Or are they taking the word of SC Johnson, that their Mr. Clean does not cause cancer. What we do know is that environmental chemical sensitives are way on the rise, cancer is way on the rise, and asthma is way on the rise. A lot of these factors are environmental factors so it is really important to choose cleaning products that have a low VOC content and that are disclosing their ingredients. At Gentle Earth we don’t use any sodium sulfate, we don’t use any synthetic fragrances, we don’t use any ingredients that harm anything. All the products are readily biodegradable and they are healthy.”
“I think back to when I was 27 and I was at my girlfriend’s place as she was moving out of her apartment. I had to use her Mr. Clean and Windex, and the bathroom we were cleaning did not have a window to open. I got nauseous and lightheaded and the world started to spin around me. My body was giving me warning signals to get out as there was a poison present. Low levels of toxic exposure, even if you are not the one doing the cleaning and you are hiring the cleaning out, has accumulative effects. When you use a liter of cleaner to clean a work place, where does the cleaner go? It Is either on the surface of the work table or it has off-gassed and it is in the air and your staff are breathing it in.”
Effects of toxic cleaning products.
When I converted Canada’s first institution, Royal Roads University, over to chemical free cleaning, that is cleaning with microfiber cloths and some benign cleaners, we were able to cut the hours used to clean by 23% using the technology, so that was a big saving. But most importantly was that the sick days of the employees literally got cut in half. There are all kinds of benefits to going green when you are hiring cleaning staff or a cleaning company, both in terms of the people doing the cleaning and everyone who is in that environment. Bottom line is that in places like Victoria we do not treat our sewage so all of this stuff eventually ends up in our back yard. It is really important in this day and age to do everything we can to be responsible with how we create a safe work and home space for our communities.”