Tuesday, May 26, 2009

US Schools going Green

Environmentally friendly maintenance products and "green cleaning" practices will soon be mandatory in all Connecticut (US) public schools.

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday requiring school districts to adopt "green cleaning" methods similar to those already in place in other States such as; Illinois and New York and individual districts in other states.

Connecticut's state House of Representatives approved the measure this month, and it now goes to Gov. M. Jodi Rell for her signature.

"This is another small step in making sure we can do things in a better way - not just for the environment, but I think also for public health," said state Sen. John McKinney, R-Fairfield.

The law takes effect July 1, 2011, and bars school districts from using cleaning products that contain various toxic substances. That deadline gives districts time to use the products already on hand rather than throwing them away. Supporters say the law will improve indoor air quality and help safeguard the health of students, teachers and custodians.

Connecticut already requires "green cleaning" practices for all state-owned buildings, including its universities and vocational-technical schools.

The measure requires cleaning products used in schools - including general purpose and glass cleaners, floor finishes and strippers, and hand cleansers and soaps - to carry the Green Seal or Eco Logo certifications as being environmentally friendly.

Supporters say the cost of "green" products has gone down and they're now about the same as traditional products, and that some districts say they have even saved money by making the switch.

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