University custodian Fernando Coronado is using an environmentally safe glass cleaner to make windows shine in Warren Hall. (Photo: Elias Barboza)
Since switching to environmentally safe cleaning products, the classrooms, halls, and restrooms at Cal State East Bay have never looked so clean in an earth-friendly way.
According to Cameron Christensen, custodial and facilities manager, a new contract with Ohio-based Spartan Chemical Co. led CSUEB to choose to use only bio-renewable cleaning products for janitorial duties. The company makes soy-based solvents, vegetable derived detergents, and cleaning agents made frm coconut oil.
“We are not mandated by the state to (achieve) a specific level of greenness with regards to our cleaning chemicals,” Christensen said. “We are encouraged, but not mandated.”
Instead of using more harsh products such as bleach, custodial staff for the past year have been using a new multi-cleaner that is certified biobased. A new glass cleaner and phosphate-free, biodegradable mop solution also are among products used to scrub classroom floors and make bathroom mirrors shine.
The terms biorenewable or biobased refer to chemicals, material or energy that come from renewable biological sources such as farms or the sun. Since bio-renewable products do not damage natural surroundings, they were considered a better option by CSUEB staff.
According to Christensen, changing to “green-friendly” products has been a big step forward in CSUEB’s overall strategy of becoming a more environmentally-conscience university.
The switch has received positive reviews from custodial staff who report that the products clean just as well as non-biobased chemicals.
“No bleach, no Ajax, no harmful chemicals,” said Christensen. “It’s safe for the students and safe for the staff. We hope to continue using them in the future.”