The definition of green

The definition of green

The word “Green” is not the universal term for something ecological, although there is a tendency to replace the word “Green” with “Environment”. The environment is a big topic that has several subsections. Under this grand theme of environmental protection, we will find green, sustainable, pollution and conservation. Each of these divisions is a huge subject in itself.

In the jumble of words and concepts, we have lost the essential meaning of Green. Environmental, green, or sustainable are now blurring into that ugly green we did in kindergarten when we lumped all the colors into one big blob. We cannot progress when confusion reigns and every science begins with a definition of terms.

Green’s best definition refers to the health effects of what we do to living things. So green is primarily a health issue. This is evident from the fact that cleaning products were the early green issues. In fact, indoor air quality is a big factor in green buildings. Sick building syndrome results from poor indoor air quality, which is Green’s antithesis.

Sustainability is also poorly translated into many applications, but essentially it deals with the management of our resources. This is an additional concern for Green, so green and sustainable business means that the company considers workplace health as well as the material requirements of the business.

Workplace health can be affected by cleaning products, building materials, furniture, as well as paint and carpets. “Off-gassing” is a well-documented problem. Installing new carpet, new furniture, new paint, and new wood all leave residual fumes as these items continue to dry. Your senses will betray you because we think that everything new is clean and healthy, but this is a huge mistake. Varnishes and paint additives, carpet glue, and wood fall into the category of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are not good for you. If your health is involved, these fumes can worsen your condition and accelerate illness. If you’re healthy, long-term exposure will tire you out over time.

Consider the dust that is recirculated, which contains bacteria, viruses, mite droppings and scales, carbon from spears, and much more. It is a wonder that we are not sick all the time, except that we are generally healthy and can live in a hostile environment for a long time.

The people who are supposed to help clean our facilities and protect our health through disinfection processes are the janitors, but clean does not mean healthy. Ammonia in window spray is harmful, zinc in floor covering is harmful to humans, numerous chemicals in cleaning products make matters worse.

Mold is a constant problem for many buildings. Mold spores are never good for workers and can become an alarming crisis if left untreated. Hidden problems also remain in the HVAC system. It is fair to say that the air of any building is a kind of “Ground Zero” for any office or business. If employees are negatively impacted, productivity will drop. Afternoon headaches, sometimes nausea and lethargy can be signs of unhealthy indoor air quality. So while your building may be energy efficient and you may conserve water as well as recycle your trash (sustainability issues), the building may be very ungreen because it is unhealthy.

The Green Business League believes that a green office starts with an understanding of a healthy office and a serious look at the components that compromise indoor air quality. Consider using a Green Certified concierge service that also uses Green cleaning products, microfiber towels, and HEPA vacuums. Do not leave mold untreated. Be careful of all paints, carpets and furniture used in the facility because they introduce a large volume of gases into the air.

Green is primarily a health-related issue that mixes with other topics of sustainability, pollution control and conservation. With proper separation of topics, the plan of attack seems much clearer. To attack the problem in a methodical way, companies should first consider “Going Green” and then move on to sustainability issues. The early disdain for the word Green came from the anti-business attitudes of ultra-environmentalists who needed a target for their vitriol. Green is not an anti-business concept when properly understood. A green business is one that is a good place to live in the workplace, in the community and in the world.

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