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Office Life

How to Stay Green and Clean when you Return to the Office

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Jeff Gapinski

Drawings of cleaning products, kitchen utensils, and the recycling symbol

When you walk back into the office after 12+ months from being away, is the smell of bleach the first thing you want welcoming you when you open the door? Probably not. Health and safety are the number one concern as we welcome employees back to their desks, but that goes beyond cleaning surfaces and sanitizing your hands every 30 seconds. 

Staying clean is important, but so is staying green. That’s why we’ve compiled a checklist of ways to keep the office safe and sustainable as you welcome your team back to work. But if you are looking for the cliff notes, here are our top 3 suggestions: 

Improving ventilation is the name of the game 

Open up those windows and shades and get as much fresh air in as possible. According to the CDC, bringing in fresh, outdoor air helps keep virus particles from accumulating inside. Plus, about 25% of the electricity consumed in the US is used to light office spaces so opt for some natural light instead. 

Cleaning supplies and your health 

After investigating more than 2,000 cleaning supplies on the market in the US, the Environmental Working Group found that many contain substances linked to serious health problems including asthma and cancer. Scrap the plastic, toxic cleaning products and hand sanitizers across the board and opt for eco-friendly options. 

Invest in cleaning products like Blueland so you only have to buy the bottles once and then order re-fill tablets forever. Their products are not only EWG Verified but, all packaging is recyclable, compostable, or both. 

Purchase hand sanitizers that are plant-based, vegan, sulfate-free, paraben-free, or cruelty-free yet still contain more than the CDC’s suggested 60% ethanol like this one from 100% pure

Don’t overdo it 

Have you heard in the term “hygiene theater”? Joseph G. Allen, an associate professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, talks about how there is not a single documented case of covid-19 transmission from surfaces—the virus is transmitted through the air. More time and effort should be spent on cleaning shared air, not shared surfaces. His advice is to not overdo it with cleaning every surface 24/7. 

Download the full checklist to stay green and clean

Download the full checklist here and print it out, laminate it, and hang it around the office to remind employees of ways they can stay healthy and eco-friendly as they get back in the groove. 

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Jeff Gapinski

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