Healthy Schools Campaign: The Importance of Green Cleaning
Healthy students are successful students. In this video, Mark Bishop, vice president of policy and communications at the Healthy Schools Campaign, explains how the non-profit organization can make a difference, helping students to feel safe, proud of their schools and invested in their education by making schools a healthier environment.
The Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is a non-profit organization that aims to help schools around the country provide clean, contaminant-free air, good ventilation, adequate lighting, physical activity and healthy food for students, teachers and staff. Addressing issues of environmental health and wellness, the Healthy Schools Campaign provides funding and education to schools, advocates for change with policy initiatives on federal, state, local and school levels and raises awareness about these issues in the community.
One of the biggest impacts that the Healthy Schools Campaign is able to make is enabling schools to switch to green cleaning practices. For example, at Chicago's Lockport East High School, a cleaning project in the cafeteria led to headache-inducing fumes that affected the health of custodial staff. With the help of HSC, the school switched from a dozen chemical-based cleaning products to just four products that are Green Seal Certified. The switch allowed the school to clean more square footage at the same cost, and improved the health of staff members who are exposed to the products on a regular basis.
More than 70,000 copies of the Healthy School Campaign's multi-media Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools, sponsored by paper company Georgia-Pacific, have been distributed to parents, teachers, facility managers and others around the country.
Other programs by the Healthy Schools Campaign include Food & Fitness, Environmental Justice and Health Disparities and School Nurses, which educates health staff on creating healthy school environments. Georgia-Pacific has been a leader in getting information to school nurses about cleaning, hygiene and hand washing that can result in lower absenteeism, better attentiveness and fewer behavioral issues in children.
Learn more about the Healthy Schools Campaign at www.greencleanschools.org.