Hotels present a unique opportunity for green cleaning improvements.

Because of their economies of scale, hotels that go green in their cleaning operations will have a much larger effect than a single household moving to green cleaning. Both are good, of course, but the hotel represents a leveraged benefit that does not exist in the typical single-household abode.

But what types of things do we mean by green cleaning for hotels? Here are some ideas:

Develop a written plan: Unlike your household, hotels typically have lots of employees so communicating the plan effectively is important. The plan should describe the cleaning methods clearly and in the language they understand. Also, it’s important that the hotel management listen to feedback from the cleaning staff to ensure that the plan works well for everyone.

Use green janitorial powered equipment: As much as possible, the powered equipment used by the staff should clean the rooms with minimal environmental impact. For example, Green Seal recommends that vacuum cleaners meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Program requirements and operate at a sound level of less than 70 decibels.

Limit worker exposure to chemicals: The key here is to provide a place where workers are exposed as little as possible to chemical concentrates. Look for a spot where cleaning chemicals can be stored safely with lots of ventilation. There should be room for mixing and diluting cleaning compounds and cleaners.

Use appropriate dispensers: It should be common sense but just in case you need a reminder, use spray bottles and other dispensers that minimize overuse and waste.

Use reusable cleaning cloths: This tip is really aimed at reducing the amount of paper used in cleaning the hotel. In lieu of paper products, Green Seal recommends using reusable cleaning cloths or microfiber technology. After using the reusable items for a maximum of two hours, they should be disposed of, rinsed or placed in a sealed container.

Put a recycling program in place: So this should be obvious but we’ve got to make sure it’s mentioned: the hotel cleaning staff should dispose recyclable items into proper bins. This includes glass, paper, plastic and cardboard.

Disinfecting: For disinfecting areas, Green Seal recommends using only U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectants or devices. The chemicals should be properly diluted and prepared before use.

By using these and other green cleaning techniques, hotels can reduce their carbon footprint and their environmental impact.

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See also:

Green building for hotels