When you walk into a classroom on campus, you stride into the room, sit at your desk, throw your backpack on the ground, and patiently (or not) wait for class to start (or end :) ). If I had to guess, I’d bet that few of us notice that the floors are free of dirt and debris, the desks are clean, the windows are smudge free, and the chalk board has been freshly washed.
We all have the custodial staff of IU to thank.
Look how clean that classroom is!
But, in my opinion, we have more to thank them for than just the clean appearance of our campus — behind the scenes, for years, the custodial staff at IU has been working towards making custodial services at the University greener and more sustainable. They have been working to create a holistic approach to facility cleaning; this approach goes beyond appearances to focus on health and environmental impacts as well. A green cleaning approach affects IU’s choice of cleaning solutions, practices, and equipment; IU’s goal for personnel training; and each custodian’s commitment to practice environmentally conscious cleaning and sanitation procedures.
IU has moved away from the harsh chemicals of the past whenever possible to keep the air and water cleaner, custodians safer, and students on campus happier. They have switched to microfiber cloths and transitioned away from aerosol products to keep waste to a minimum. They use HEPA-filter vacuums to trap harmful dust and are conscious of the environmental impacts rock salt has on the environment. They choose paper products for the bathrooms that have a high recycled content and ensure that the recyclables on campus get recycled.
All of these practices (and more) have culminated in a Sustainable Housekeeping policy that will be used campus wide.
This is a staff that cares — about you; about our campus; about our environment; about the future.
So the next time you’re walking around campus and see one of our custodians — take a second to say thank you for keeping our campus clean in every sense of the word.
Do you have thoughts on green cleaning at IU? Discuss below.