Did you know that on average, one quarter of the chemicals used for cleaning the commercial kitchen is hazardous to your health? This is bad news for those who use these products indoors on a daily basis. In the past it was thought that these chemicals were entirely necessary to provide a high level of sanitation throughout your kitchen as well as you dining room. Today, however, there are literally hundreds of green cleaning products which are proven to be just as effective and much more environmentally friendly.
If it works, why change?
This is the biggest objection I hear when talking about going green with cleaning products and habits. Many owners don’t want to change something if it works fine. The problem is that, while it works fine in the kitchen, it doesn’t for the environment. Recent studies have shown that chlorine bleach and ammonia release both release toxic vapors we can smell and greenhouse gases. Both products are also suspected cancer causing agents. Phosphates, which are common in non-green cleaners, kill marine life. It is clear that harsh chemicals are not working for everyone, even if they get the job done in the kitchen.
So, what can I do?
Here are a few green cleaning tips you can implement today in order to reduce chemical use all over your kitchen:
- Avoid Storm Drain Dumping: Do you know where your janitor dumps that dirty mop water? If it’s down a storm drain that it will go directly to a clean body of water such as a lake or river. That’s instant damage to your local marine life and water quality. Dump that water inside and it will dilute and be processed before hitting the natural resources.
- Dry Clean Ups: Rather than a mop, try using a dry absorbent (something like cat litter) to dry out the spill so that you can simply sweep it up. This is especially true for spills which occur outside as it is common to see these washed by a hose into the nearest drain.
- Recycle Grease/Oil: Did you know that the grease and oil from your commercial kitchen can be recycled into useful products such as biodiesel? It’s true! Not to mention the fact that dumping these byproducts down a drain causes clogs which can lead to sewage backing up your drains, something no one in food service wants to smell.
Clean Filters: When you cook in your commercial kitchen, gases can be released that are about as toxic as those vented from a diesel truck. If your filters aren’t clean, the bad air can hang around for much longer. Keep your filters clean to ensure a fresh smell and a healthy environment.