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Celebrate the National Parks with Sustainable Travel

fdrBy Ben Walsh, Green Seal’s Project Coordinator

When people think of National Parks, most think of majestic vistas and wilderness locations.  However, there are 409 parks throughout the country that include National Parks, National Battlefields, National Seashores, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites.  Washington, DC, itself has 23 different National Parks including the White House.  I am privileged to be a volunteer at a number of those with the National Mall & Memorial Parks.

In addition to my work with Green Seal, I’ve always been a fan of the National Parks and a history buff.  Looking for a chance to get outside and connect with people, I became a Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) in 2009.  For the last seven years, I have been honored to work at some of our nations most visited and most hallowed memorials. I’ve met soldiers who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, couples that marched with Dr. King, and family members who broke down crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I have been lucky enough to hear their stories and then re-tell them to the next generation, to the millions of students who come to D.C. to learn about their history. My day job involves enhancing suitability through researching best practices and environmental criteria, while my weekend job allows me to bring the parks alive for visitors and show them why conservation and protection is important.  (more…)

Monumental green

A Monumental Time at Greenbuild 2015

Linda retouchedBy Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s VP of Marketing & Communications

The Greenbuild conference was loaded with opportunities for us this year. Not only was it conveniently held in our fair city (DC) many of our staff could attend, but we also got to visit with several current clients exhibiting at the expo. And as a USGBC board member, I was able to represent Green Seal at many of the leadership activities as well. Here are some highlights!

The opening plenary was introduced by HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who said that, “green means good health and more wealth”.  Rick Fedrizzi, President of USGBC, echoed the Secretary’s sentiment, saying the environment and the economy are deeply connected. This seemed to be a theme for the week, maybe because Rick’s new book is about how “profit saves the planet.” He quoted Francis Perkins, the first woman to hold a US cabinet position, who said, “There is work to be done, so we do it.” Another Perkins quote I like: “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.” (more…)

Minn Spoon and Cherry

Presenting the Best Team at AASHE

The theme for the 2015 Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher education (AASHE) Conference & Expo was Transforming Sustainability Education. One well-attended presentation involving Green Seal clients and staff was a panel discussion on “Building the Best Team for a Sustainable Operation”.

The engaging and interactive session provided insights and solutions from four points of view. Steve Gilsdorf, from Western Michigan University (with Green Seal certification for its cleaning service) represented C&U facilities managers. Danny Huffaker of Georgia-Pacific, and Burt Klein of PortionPac Chemical Company represented manufacturers of Green Seal-certified sustainable sanitary paper and cleaning products, respectively. Mark Stanland, Green Seal’s VP of Client Services, represented the third-party ecolabel that awarded their certification. Mac Clevenger, also from Green Seal, moderated the panel.

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The panelists answered questions on whether green procurement guidelines are optimally working for housekeeping staff; how to easily identify the products and procedures that best protect staff, faculty, and student health; how procurement directors can source the best pricing and the most sustainable products; and how to be sure that the products and supplies purchased will meet performance expectations.

Green Seal also exhibited at the AASHE Conference & Expo, and traffic was heavy throughout the 2½-day show with many inquiries from facilities managers, faculty, and students about certified products and cleaning services.

Call for Public Input on Insulation

New Environmental Standard

for Architectural Insulation Materials, GS-54

Green Seal invites stakeholders and interested individuals to assist in the development of this new environmental leadership standard – GS-54.

Register to comment here.

Purpose: This standard is being developed to help purchasers identify and choose environmentally preferable architectural insulation products.

Stakeholders: Green Seal is soliciting suggestions and comments from diverse stakeholders including manufacturers, facility managers, operators, consumer groups, health and environmental groups, and general interest groups.

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Mark Stanland

Celebrating a Green Revolution in the Cleaning Industry

25 and Counting Ad final design layers

This month Green Seal exhibited at the ISSA/Interclean Expo for the 9th straight year. We were happy to welcome nearly 70 exhibitors that offer Green Seal-certified products, 13 of which are celebrating 11 years with Green Seal. Our standards for sustainable products and services have revolutionized the cleaning industry and inspired real and permanent change. This year our our SCIENCE & SERVICE message really resonated—everyone likes good customer service—and our visitors enjoyed “mugging” for the camera with Green Seal staff!

Green Seal and USDA BioPreferred

Whitaker

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Call for Comments – Laundry Standard Updates

A Message from Green Seal’s Science & Standard Department…

GS-48 Image 2Green Seal invites the public to participate in the revision of Green Seal’s Standards for Laundry Products.

We welcome comments of support and criticism – both types of comments will help us evaluate the proposed changes.

To submit comments, please register as a stakeholder through our online commenting portal.

Comments will be accepted until October 25.

Interested in an in-depth technical read on laundry products and sustainability? Check out The Rationale [PDF] – A document that reviews and explains the reasoning behind each of the proposed revisions. (more…)

Green Kleening Your Community One Building at a Time

MisterKleen EricKoch headshotBy Eric Koch, Mister Kleen Maintenance Company, Inc. Sales and Marketing Specialist

The cleaning industry certainly has evolved throughout the decades. This is especially true as it relates to the environmental movement, and the push for a healthier atmosphere using greener products, processes, and equipment.

While the 1970’s saw the creation of the EPA and OSHA, along with our very first Earth Day, it wasn’t until years later that we started to hear people talk more about cleaning for a healthier environment — “Cleaning for Health”.

Just Make it Look Clean!

Cleaning for Appearance was the phrase and direction we often received from clients throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and midway through the 90’s. There was no concern on the chemicals being used and the impact this was causing to building tenants and our employees. Our main objective was to make it look clean regardless of the impact these harsh chemicals had.

Flash forward to today and the conversation has changed to use green products to clean without releasing harsh odors that other chemical laden products have. This is what our green cleaning program, known as Green Kleen, is centered on to provide a healthier environment for us all.

Yes, being certified as a green cleaning company to Green Seal’s GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services standard is a differentiator for our company. What many people don’t know, however, is how green cleaning is near and dear to our story. (more…)