When people think of National Parks, most think of majestic vistas and wilderness locations. However, there are 409 parks throughout the country that include National Parks, National Battlefields, National Seashores, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites. Washington, DC, itself has 23 different National Parks including the White House. I am privileged to be a volunteer at a number of those with the National Mall & Memorial Parks.
In addition to my work with Green Seal, I’ve always been a fan of the National Parks and a history buff. Looking for a chance to get outside and connect with people, I became a Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) in 2009. For the last seven years, I have been honored to work at some of our nations most visited and most hallowed memorials. I’ve met soldiers who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, couples that marched with Dr. King, and family members who broke down crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I have been lucky enough to hear their stories and then re-tell them to the next generation, to the millions of students who come to D.C. to learn about their history. My day job involves enhancing suitability through researching best practices and environmental criteria, while my weekend job allows me to bring the parks alive for visitors and show them why conservation and protection is important. Continue reading “Celebrate the National Parks with Sustainable Travel”
By Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s VP of Marketing & Communications
The Greenbuild conference was loaded with opportunities for us this year. Not only was it conveniently held in our fair city (DC) many of our staff could attend, but we also got to visit with several current clients exhibiting at the expo. And as a USGBC board member, I was able to represent Green Seal at many of the leadership activities as well. Here are some highlights!
The opening plenary was introduced by HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who said that, “green means good health and more wealth”. Rick Fedrizzi, President of USGBC, echoed the Secretary’s sentiment, saying the environment and the economy are deeply connected. This seemed to be a theme for the week, maybe because Rick’s new book is about how “profit saves the planet.” He quoted Francis Perkins, the first woman to hold a US cabinet position, who said, “There is work to be done, so we do it.” Another Perkins quote I like: “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.” Continue reading “A Monumental Time at Greenbuild 2015”
The theme for the 2015 Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher education (AASHE) Conference & Expo was Transforming Sustainability Education. One well-attended presentation involving Green Seal clients and staff was a panel discussion on “Building the Best Team for a Sustainable Operation”.
The engaging and interactive session provided insights and solutions from four points of view. Steve Gilsdorf, from Western Michigan University (with Green Seal certification for its cleaning service) represented C&U facilities managers. Danny Huffaker of Georgia-Pacific, and Burt Klein of PortionPac Chemical Company represented manufacturers of Green Seal-certified sustainable sanitary paper and cleaning products, respectively. Mark Stanland, Green Seal’s VP of Client Services, represented the third-party ecolabel that awarded their certification. Mac Clevenger, also from Green Seal, moderated the panel.
The panelists answered questions on whether green procurement guidelines are optimally working for housekeeping staff; how to easily identify the products and procedures that best protect staff, faculty, and student health; how procurement directors can source the best pricing and the most sustainable products; and how to be sure that the products and supplies purchased will meet performance expectations.
Green Seal also exhibited at the AASHE Conference & Expo, and traffic was heavy throughout the 2½-day show with many inquiries from facilities managers, faculty, and students about certified products and cleaning services.
Purpose: This standard is being developed to help purchasers identify and choose environmentally preferable architectural insulation products.
Stakeholders: Green Seal is soliciting suggestions and comments from diverse stakeholders including manufacturers, facility managers, operators, consumer groups, health and environmental groups, and general interest groups.
This month Green Seal exhibited at the ISSA/Interclean Expo for the 9th straight year. We were happy to welcome nearly 70 exhibitors that offer Green Seal-certified products, 13 of which are celebrating 11 years with Green Seal. Our standards for sustainable products and services have revolutionized the cleaning industry and inspired real and permanent change. This year our our SCIENCE & SERVICE message really resonated—everyone likes good customer service—and our visitors enjoyed “mugging” for the camera with Green Seal staff!
By Eric Koch, Mister Kleen Maintenance Company, Inc. Sales and Marketing Specialist
The cleaning industry certainly has evolved throughout the decades. This is especially true as it relates to the environmental movement, and the push for a healthier atmosphere using greener products, processes, and equipment.
While the 1970’s saw the creation of the EPA and OSHA, along with our very first Earth Day, it wasn’t until years later that we started to hear people talk more about cleaning for a healthier environment — “Cleaning for Health”.
Just Make it Look Clean!
Cleaning for Appearance was the phrase and direction we often received from clients throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and midway through the 90’s. There was no concern on the chemicals being used and the impact this was causing to building tenants and our employees. Our main objective was to make it look clean regardless of the impact these harsh chemicals had.
Flash forward to today and the conversation has changed to use green products to clean without releasing harsh odors that other chemical laden products have. This is what our green cleaning program, known as Green Kleen, is centered on to provide a healthier environment for us all.
“Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City is the second hotel in California and fifth nationwide to achieve Gold level certification under the Green Seal GS-33 Standard for Lodging Properties.”
Hotel guests are demanding safer and more sustainable lodging options. And it is because of this commitment of caring for guests and staff that Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City is at the forefront of adopting practices that are more environmentally favorable and better for human health and safety.
Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City is the second hotel in California and fifth nationwide to achieve Gold level certification under the Green Seal GS-33 Standard for Lodging Properties. The hotel was first certified in 2010. It is also one of the hotels in the LA Green Lodging Program, a partnership between the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation, The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Green Seal.
By Daniel Pedersen, Ph.D., Green Seal’s VP of Science & Standards
The AASHE STARS program can serve as a road-map to more sustainable purchasing policies. Green purchasing can benefit higher education campuses in many ways, and even drive the sustainability of the broader market.
What’s to be gained from green purchasing? First of all, green products are reliable and cost-effective; the myth that they are more expensive and don’t work as well was debunked long ago. Environmentally-preferable products are specified by half of the state governments in the U.S.; if these products didn’t cut the mustard, states would have dropped them.
By Daniel Pedersen, Ph.D., Green Seal’s VP of Science & Standards
Summer marks the beginning of the new fiscal year on many campuses – this is a good time to do some housecleaning and review your purchasing policies. Green purchasing is an easy and powerful way for higher education campuses to benefit, and even to drive the sustainability of the broader market.
The principles of green purchasing can easily increase sustainability when they are incorporated into purchasing specs and policies of individual departments or across the entire campus. Your campus can use the AASHE STARS program as a road-map to sustainability; the list of Operations (OP) credits is a good framework for green purchasing. You can make a big difference when you choose products like electronics, cleaning products (such as cleaners, paper towels, and bathroom tissue), and office paper. An emphasis on local items and services reduces transport needs and strengthens the local community, while environmentally-responsible food and beverages and low impact meals can reduce the footprint of dining services. Less frequent purchases – paints, insulation, windows, doors, furniture, and carpets – are important for the sustainability of building operations and maintenance or design and construction.