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.
Our green cleaning story takes it roots from the 1970’s and 80’s when there was little regard to the dangers of the air we were breathing using harsh cleaning chemicals. This was also a period of time in which many of us workers did not wear appropriate protective gear to prevent us from coming in contact and inhaling harsh pollutants.
Unfortunately, this hit home for us in the early 1980’s as our president and founder, Ernest (Ernie) Clark, Sr., was diagnosed with a rare form of bacterial meningitis. At the time, this was something so rare that doctors did not know how to handle like they do today. Ultimately, this led to our president and founder having to step down from his role in leading our company.
While this was a tragic chapter in our story, there were two ironic outcomes. The first was how he contracted such a rare form of meningitis, and the second was his ability to defeat the odds and overcome this deadly disease.
With regard to Ernie Sr.’s feat in overcoming such a rare disease this was a turning point in our story as we were thrilled to have Ernie Sr. with us for many more years until his eventual passing in 2009. This was also eye opening as to how we needed to pay extra attention to our environment and how our industry can make an impact for the better or worse.
According to the EPA, it is estimated today that the average American spends 90% of their time indoors. Studies also show that levels of harsh indoor air pollutants we breathe can be 2-5 times higher (in some cases 100 times higher) than outdoor levels.
While there are a lot of factors that contribute to higher levels of pollutants, the use of cleaning chemicals and equipment along with proper processes play a major factor.
We don’t typically hear the old phrases of Just Make it Look Clean or Cleaning for Appearance like we did in our early years. Today, it is more about explaining how we make it look clean using greener products, processes and equipment.
As part of our mission statement, we are Green Kleening Your Community one Building at a Time, and Green Kleening is a standard, not an option here at Mister Kleen.
About the Author: Eric Koch is the Sales and Marketing Specialist at Mister Kleen Maintenance Company, Inc. and a guest blogger to the Green Seal blog. Mister Kleen’s green cleaning program, Green Kleen, is certified to Green Seal’s GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services standard.