Keep the Office Clean Using Green Cleaning Products

Green business operations is a growing trend in commercial businesses, this includes the products used to keep the office clean. Utilizing green products and equipment can reduce the number of health problems from fumes, allergies, and rashes in employees who work in the office. It is important to understand what chemicals to look for so they can be avoided. Only purchase products that have a complete list of ingredients. Here are some tips to help in choosing the best green cleaning products for a business environment.

Read the Label

This may sound pretty obvious, but not all cleaning supplies that are supposed to be green even list all of the ingredients. It is important to read the label and understand what it means. Avoid cleaners that have ammonia, chlorine or any other caustic chemicals. These create fumes that can irritate eyes and throat. The fumes linger so the people who work in the office are also being exposed. Green products should be PH neutral. All-purpose cleaners should be plant based solvents instead of chemical based solvents. When reading the label if there is a word or name that looks unusual be sure to ask what it is and why it is in the product

green-seal-350Look for Green Seal Certification

Look for the Green Seal certification on labels. This certification means the product has been tested and evaluated by a laboratory that is not connected to the manufacturer or seller, similar to a Consumer Reports style testing lab. To earn this seal the product must meet specific environmental standards, undergo rigorous testing and a visit to the plant where the product is manufactured. Once earned this certification can be displayed on the packaging, in promotional material and in advertising. These products have proven they are environmentally better than the competition.seventh-generation

Purchase from Reputable Companies

Only purchase green products from reputable companies, such as Seventh Generation and Simple Green, and make sure they can provide a complete list of the ingredients for the product. Just because the packaging says “green” doesn’t mean the product doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Be sure to check.

These are just a few tips to help choose green cleaning products. For more information contact us.

Denver Sustainability Park: A Living Vision For Our Future

If you are lucky enough to live in the Denver area or if you are planning a visit, there is an amazing thing happening on 3 acres located at Lawrence and 25th Streets in Denver’s downtown. There is a living, breathing learning experience that can teach you how to re-imagine our urban living environments.  You will experience a hands-on demonstration of alternative building designs, urban gardening solutions, the newest water saving technologies and the list goes on.

Denver’s Sustainability Park is a collaboration of the Denver Housing Authority ( (DHA) and The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES).   Along with active community involvement, they have created an innovative approach to teaching our community how to lessen it’s carbon footprint and learn new sustainable ways to approach old problems.

The variety of sustainability solutions presented here is worth a number of visits just to make sure you are seeing it all.  From a composting demonstration area to a Permaculture Garden the exhibitions are scattered throughout the three acre park.  You can visit the urban garden or learn about options for efficient use of resources.  One can imagine the fantastic resource for our schools to support their sustainability curriculums. The students are sure to be inspired and could even discover a new career choice after visiting the park.

As a local business in the Denver community, you can learn about energy efficient building materials and designs as well as effective resource management tools that can be part of your sustainable business vision.  The latest cutting-edge technologies are here to be studied and then put to work in a real world environment.  This community focus will hopefully result in healthy Colorado neighborhoods and a vibrant, growing “green” economy.

If you share our vision of community sustainability, contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Creating a Healthier Work Environment by Using Non-Toxic Cleaners

According to an article by Safer Statesnearly each day, four million people in the United States… are exposed to toxic chemicals in their workplace on a daily basis. What’s worse is that this number is only counting towards the people in direct contact with the chemicals- like janitors, landscapers, and groundskeepers.  Now imagine what the statistics jump to once you include all the people who indirectly work around those chemicals- like all the employees who work in your office.

Here are some tips for how to switch to eco-friendly products that will still make your office as clean and beautiful, but without the negative effects on the environment or your health:

  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products– these cleaning products recommended by the EPA are generally bio-based which means that they break down easily in the environment and do not omit toxic or other harmful substances into the air.
  • Use an eco-friendly vacuum cleaner– these vacuum cleaners actually help improve indoor air quality by using HEPA filters that can trap nearly 100% of airborne particles.
  • Use eco-friendly fertilizers and de-icers right outside the office to keep the walkways clear in the winter and the lawns lush and green in the summer, all while reducing the amounts of pollutants seeping into the air and ground.
  • Add plants to your office.  Not only do plants add a sense of beauty and hominess to a workplace, they also add to an eco-friendly environment by absorbing air pollutants.

Contact us today and talk to our eco consultants about how to transform your office environment into a healthy work environment.

Increasing Your Company’s Value through Green Building Maintenance

Businesses can increase the value of their business and reduce costs by implementing green building maintenance techniques. The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate (JOSRE) posted a paper entitled “Facility Sustainment and Firm Value: A Case Study Based on Target Corporation” (Beach, 2011), which presents data that supports the idea that increasing the money spent on maintenance and upkeep of a facility, known as “sustainment funding,” actually increases the firm’s value.  Mathematical proofs show that under certain financial circumstances, Target Corporation’s value may be over 10% higher in 30 years if the company allows 100% sustainment funding.  Target’s historic funding is 51.7%, meaning that only 51.7% of necessary maintenance and upkeep is not deferred.  With this data, Target knows that despite having to spend money on building maintenance now, it will help the company gain value in the future.

Companies cannot sustain themselves by ignoring necessary building maintenance and upkeep.  If your goal is to own and operate a sustainable, successful business, implementing green building tactics is extremely important.  The following are some of the benefits you can earn by using sustainable, responsible green building maintenance techniques:

–  Happier Employees

–  Equipment and Property Has a Longer Useful Life

–  Lower Risk for Catastrophic Financial Events in the Future

–  Higher Perceived Value by Clients and Potential Investors/Buyers

For more information on how you can green your facility or building see the U.S. Green Building Council guide on Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance or contact us.

Consider Using Natural Pesticides and Fertilizers

In spring, there is a high volume of pesticides and fertilizers being used to keep lawns green and weed free. Before using your normal chemicals, consider using green or natural alternatives.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are known carcinogens and have also been linked to asthma, birth defects and neurological disorders. (for more citations on health, visit the Kids for Saving the Earth). These chemicals are also affecting our wildlife too. Particularly our bee population which chemical pesticides have been proven to be one of the primary reasons we have had such decline in our bee populations. (To learn more visit E-Magazine’s article on Pesticide Linked to Honey Bee Deaths)

Here are some resources for natural pesticide and fertilizer use;

Sustainability Facilities Tool: Design Guidance for Office Buildings

The Sustainability Facilities Tool is a free tool developed by GSA to provide guidance for more green office buildings. The tool helps commercial facilities managers, architects, designers or construction managers learn about office spaces and integrating sustainability in various locations within an office environment. The tool can be downloaded to a  smartphone device. The tool is an interactive experience that provides information on how to;

  • Select sustainable materials
  • Incorporate daylight strategies
  • Educate occupants of an office
  • Save on water
  • Conserve energy
  • Information on government regulations

Live Smaller with These Small Houses

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to live in 500 square foot home? In fact many people in the world live in small spaces however in America we have been accustomed to our average 3,000 square foot home. But with that space, comes a cost not only to the home itself but the increase of maintenance, housecleaning and money to maintain and furnish such large spaces.

A small but growing trend is to downsize into smaller living spaces. There have been architects who have designed not only efficient small spaces but very eco-friendly as well.

Check out these small pre-fab houses;

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company: These very charming little houses were particular designed for remote areas.

Texas Tiny Houses– they use 99% recycled materials for their homes

Clayton Homes– These homes are slightly larger at 720 square feet

DGE Homes– they sell the design plans for you to build your own

L41 Homes– designed by a well known architect, these 250 square feet homes are truly an art in efficiency