In early learning environments, sickness is unavoidable. The average child gets sick 6 to 10 times per year. However, keeping early childhood centres clean and healthy can significantly reduce the spread of illness.

Traditional cleaning products certainly take care of bacteria and germs, but they can be very harsh on the environment and on human health. This has lead to many early childhood companies and managers making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. In an early childhood context, there will often be young children who have asthma and allergy problems, which can be exaggerated by harsh cleaning chemicals.

Environmentally friendly or ‘green’ cleaners are safer for use around children. We discuss this and some other benefits of eco-friendly cleaning products below:

Children’s health

At home and at school, we do our best to keep our children healthy, but there is always the risk of germs being spread around. This is because:

  • Young children have habits such as putting toys and fingers in their mouths. There are normal, developmental habits – but they do encourage the spread of germs.
  • Children are in close contact with each other during playtime and learning activities.
  • Their immune systems are still developing, making them more likely to pick up illnesses than adults.

It is therefore very important that early childhood centres are regularly and thoroughly cleaned. Traditional cleaning products contain ammonia, bleaches, and other aggressive cleaning agents that can actually aggravate some health problems in children. This is particularly the case for respiratory issues, such as asthma and allergies. Young children are also susceptible to skin rashes, irritations, and eczema, which can all be caused or worsened by cleaning chemicals.

Eco-friendly cleaning products contain natural cleaning agents, which are less toxic and less irritating for the skin and respiratory systems. This will reduce the likelihood of long-term or ongoing illnesses caused by aggressive cleaning products. This will have flow-on benefits such as more focussed and motivated students who aren’t distracted by feeling unwell. It will also keep sick days to a minimum, which improves attendance and keeps students on track with their learning and development.

Cleaner air

The air quality in schools and early learning centres needs to be as pure as possible.  Using eco-friendly cleaning products reduces the amount of toxins and irritants in the air, making it safer and easier to breathe for everybody. This includes teachers, parents, and custodial staff as well as the students! Natural cleaning products often contain a lot of essential oils and natural citrus scents, meaning that the smell of the products are a lot more palatable than harsh chemical smells. Traditional cleaning products often have an unpleasant smell that can cause headaches and nausea in those sensitive to them.

Protect the environment

The eco-conscious movement is growing larger day by day, as more people commit to doing their part to preserve our fragile climate. Many traditional cleaning products consist of harmful chemicals including ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorous.

Such products are used to clean toilets and sinks, or are used as detergents in washing machines and dishwashers. They are washed down the drains and out to water treatment facilities. Unfortunately, not all of the toxins from the products can be removed from the water through the treatment process. That means that some of them end up in rivers, oceans, and other waterways. This can negatively impact wildlife and ecosystems in and near the water.

Natural products do not contain these harmful toxins, so by using them you are preventing additional pollution in waterways and protecting important habitats.

Mass-produced products from big corporations are made overseas and shipped into the country to be sold. Many natural and eco-friendly cleaning products are also made right here in Aotearoa New Zealand, meaning that you are supporting local businesses and the carbon footprint of these products are much lower.

Teach sustainability

Kids go to school to learn, and one of the best ways to teach children something is to lead by example. With the world currently facing a serious climate crisis, everybody needs to be doing their part to learn about eco-friendly living practices. Having these practices embedded in early childhood and other school environments is a great way to expose children to this subject and help them learn about the responsibilities we all have for looking after our planet.

As well as using ‘green’ cleaning products, you could use bamboo or sugar cane paper towels and toilet papers, introduce recycling and composting, or teach about gardening and growing your own food.

Our commitment to eco-friendly cleaning

Crewcare is committed to health, safety, and sustainability. We only use ‘green’ cleaning products and have developed an Environmental Policy to guide us in the way we work. Crewcare can be trusted to provide a quality cleaning service to your early education centre or school, which won’t harm the planet or the health of your students. Contact us today to find out more.