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CO2 Balance – October Update

In Business, Environment, Office Cleaning by admin0 Comments

[two_third] As a vital part of our Environmental policies and procedures, CO2balance is retained by total Clean to audit, report then offset the Group's determined carbon footprint in incredibly well-deserving projects across the World. This post brings you the latest summary update from the Managing Director at CO2 Balance, Mark Simpson and reports on relevant current events and positive actions resulting from ongoing projects.  

 Mark Simpson, Managing Director, CO2balance UK Ltd

Welcome to our October newsletter that follows hot on the heels of the UN Climate Summit held in New York last week. For the first time, we can reflect on some positive action from the world leaders who attended international talks on how to tackle climate change. Both the US and China made specific reference to recently experienced extreme weather events that are forming the growing body of evidence that our climate is changing. The economic impact of these extreme weather events was underlined and - in what constitutes a bold move at these events - China made reference to their man made emissions 'peaking as soon as possible'. Despite the reluctance of countries to blink first when it comes to making a commitment, the run up to summit saw over 1000 companies sign a World Bank Initiative to encourage governments to set a price on carbon, which would act as an economic incentive to reduce greenhouse emissions. Business, it seems, has a valuable role to play in driving action to curb climate change where governments fear to tread. We have had a busy summer at CO2balance in which we have continued to develop exciting new climate change mitigation projects under our microprogramme that spans the African continent.
"This past month we have seen our first ever projects in Cameroon (West Cameroon Cookstoves) and Sierra Leone (Bombali Safe Water) formally recognised by the Gold Standard. We have established 4 new safe water projects in Malawi, 4 in Bangladesh and 5 in Rwanda; we have also brought online 7 new cookstoves projects in Rwanda, 2 in Kenya (with partner World Vision) and 1 in Mozambique (with partner Cloros)."
In terms of action on the ground, we have completed the roll out of 900 artisanal improved cookstoves as a microenterprise operated by the Umeme Women's group in West Kisumu, and have just built our 9,000th stove in our Rwanda programme! Our new safe water project roll out in Eastern Region, Uganda is now complete and over 8,000 people are now drinking clean water as a result of our work. I hope you enjoyed this month's summary update, look out for more news in the coming months. [/two_third] [one_third_last][athenathemegallery gallery_id="24864" width="106" height="106"] [/one_third_last]
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Change in Cleaning Regulations On the Horizon

In Cleaning News, commercial cleaning, Environment by admin0 Comments

Following the late 90's move away from chlorofluorocarbon solvents (CFCs to the uninitiated), another major shake up could be coming to every corner of the cleaning industry, as new regulations are being trialled in the US. cleaners-london The OTC - or O-Zone Transport Commission - has been tasked with achieving better air quality by the Federal Clean Air Act - and one of the ways it's aiming to do so is cutting down on VOC's - Volatile Organic Compounds. Whilst you might not have heard of the term VOC before, you will have heard of the compounds that fall under it's umbrella; Formaldehyde, Benzene and byproducts of seemingly innocuous appliances like office cleaning equipment and cleaners. In fact, anything that involves heating-up something to use it (laser printers, floor cleaners, carpet treaters) does have a chance to produce a VOC as a by-product/ Whilst only coming into effect in the US this month, it won't be too long before London office cleaning companies like ourselves will have to make the adjustments to our cleaning methods - but rest assured - we'll be fully compliant when it does arrive on our shores!
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Top 10 Green Cleaning Tips

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, Environment by admin0 Comments

Green is the new trend. Every industry is at least trying to convert their procedures to environmentally friendly. One industry that has been investing big to earn the “Eco-Friendly Label” is the cleaning industry with the developments of biodegradable cleaning products and cleaning methods that will keep a place smelling fresh without the toxic effect. Here at Total Clean we strive to deliver an environmentally friendly office cleaning service by applying cleaning products and methods that are less harmful as possible to the environment. We also have a great concern for our clients’ homes, reason why every once in a while we publish cleaning tips to help them maintain their houses as fresh and clean as we leave their working place. This time we compiled a list with our top 10 Green Cleaning tips for you to keep your house fresh-smelling without harming your family's life. 1.Employ green cleaning products As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren’t for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you’ve got yourself an all-purpose cleaner. 2.Avoid poor indoor air quality It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home. 3.Be careful with antibacterial cleaners The antibacterial and antimicrobial 'cleaners' that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don’t clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding "super germs," bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided. 4.Help your home smell baking soda-licious Baking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it's also a great odor-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odors and then vacuum it up. 5.Clean your indoor air naturally Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air--pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice. 6.Toss toxic cleaners carefully When replacing your cleaning products, don’t just throw the old ones in the trash. If they're too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you (see How to Go Green: Water for more). 7.Avoid conventional dry cleaners Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet. 8.Employ a green house cleaning service For people don’t have the time to clean their own homes, fortunately there are an increasing number of green cleaning services out there to help get things spic and span. If you can’t find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify. 9.Leave the toxins at the door Imagine what’s on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy. Many green buildings now include entryway track-off systems as a means of maintaining a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals. 10.Design with clean in mind Designing houses and other building with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain. In larger buildings, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver as cleaning costs can often add up to as much as half of a building’s total energy costs. Why not help us extend this list? Share your green cleaning tips and lets make the world a cleaner place without harming it.

Eco Friendly Cleaning, Telling the Real From the Fake

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Cleaning Tips, Environment by admin0 Comments

Eco-friendly is the big buzzword right now in the cleaning industry and manufacturers of cleaning and maintenance products have caught on to this trend, introducing eco friendly cleaning solutions to their products lines.

Green Cleaning

The main criticism with eco-friendly cleaning services and producs is that it’s a higher expense for something that has the same outcome as traditional cleaning solutions. Overall, it’s easy to wonder if you’re getting bang for that extra buck.

Now, you will see a lot of terms thrown around such as “green” “eco friendly” and “biodegradable” when looking at cleaning products or services. The truth is that companies will grossly exaggerate their green credentials in order to convince you that their products are non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-carcinogenic.

If this is the case, then how do you tell apart the real from the fabricated?

Well, for a start, the Environmental Protection Agency offers an eco-friendly certification called Design for the Environment – which essentially validates any claims to being eco-friendly.

Another way is to look for “Green Seal” certification which, again, will appear on a product’s packaging and identifies the product as fulfilling eco-friendly standards. That said, such certifications are voluntary, meaning that not all products without these certifications are not eco-friendly.

In our experience, super-slick branding and packaging for products that profess to being eco-friendly often turn out to contain ingredients that are chemical-based as opposed to citrus-based solvents, vinegar, natural abrasives and essential oils.

This is mainly down to its parent company responding to the demand without wanting to invest in new product development. We’d suggest that, when all else fails, look for minimal packaging or cleaners that can be refilled from concentrate to cut down on packaging waste – as they often turn out to be the most effective and genuinely eco friendly cleaning solutions.

Now for cleaning companies a way to certify that their cleaning services are eco-friendly is to ask for their green accreditations and for their environmental cleaning policy.

Green Cleaning – The Healthy Option

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Cleaning Tips, Environment, Hospital Cleaning, Office Cleaning by admin0 Comments

Cleaning is essential for maintaining hygiene and health. We clean our offices and homes to remove dust and germs, and it also makes us feel good, no one likes to stay in a dirty, untidy mess. Different cleaning processes and endless varieties of cleaning products are available for office or home use. It has been proven for some time that some commercial cleaning products can pose threat to your health. According to scientists and physicians, strong chemical compounds used in cleaning products can cause different dermatological and respiratory problems for people and that’s why people are opting for green cleaning. Indeed, green cleaning is the ideal form of cleaning which does not involve the use of any chemical based cleaning products and thus has no side affects that could harm the health of people or the environment. As the name suggests, green cleaning is a natural formula for keeping your surroundings clean and fresh. Unlike factory-made, cleaning solutions and detergents, green cleaning is totally free from all kinds of toxic chemicals. More and more places like hospitals and nursing homes are implementing green cleaning as  the safest cleaning process. The USA and European countries are using green cleaning in commercial areas like offices, markets and shopping centres that witness the presence of large numbers of people with different health conditions on a daily basis. It is also extremely beneficial to cleaning staff who work with cleaning agents on a daily basis. Another major reason why people have largely accepted green cleaning is the availability and cheap cost of the items; lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and washing soda are the most effective green cleaning product and are purchased at a much cheaper costs compared to toxic chemical-based solutions and detergents. You can apply these natural ingredients for cleaning anything in the office, home and leisure industry, without  any kind of threat to your health minimise the risk of damage to your belongings.
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Winter Cleaning Tips

In Cleaning Tips, Environment, Total Clean Services by admin0 Comments

As upsetting as it is the summer is almost over and the winter months are upon us. So as you prepare to put away the barbecue for another year it maybe a good idea to get your home ready for the winter months. Here are some cleaning tips to help you on your way: -  Get your carpets professionally cleaned. Think of all the sand and grass clippings that have been walked in on your flip-flops this summer. -  Clean your windows, inside and out, including in between the sills. -  Cleaning your house from top to bottom, focusing on public rooms such as the living room, family room, hallway and bathroom. -  Get out the vacuum. Vacuum the drapes, window treatments, baseboards and in the corners. Move furniture and vacuum beneath and behind it. Vacuum upholstered furniture, or have it professionally cleaned if necessary. If you are looking for a professional contract cleaning company with a difference please visit the Total Clean Services website.

How to Make Sure Cleaning Products Are Eco-Friendly

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, Environment, Total Clean Services by alan0 Comments

It is no longer so easy to find non-toxic and natural cleaning products as advertisers can be tricky. - The first rule in making sure a cleaning products are really non toxic is read the ingredient list. - Avoid petroleum-based solvents, chlorine, ammonia and phosphates and avoid products that have "danger," "poison" or "warning" on the label. - Look for cleaning products that have particular information regarding biodegradability. - If a product is marketed as "natural," read the label more closely (petroleum is also classed as "natural"). - If you need a scented product, choose one that uses essential oils. Avoid products with synthetic fragrances. Now you have all the information needed to ensure your cleaning is eco-friendly. However, if what you really require is a contract cleaning company to provide a bespoke service please visit the Total Clean website.

Summer Cleaning Tips

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, Environment by admin0 Comments

With the sunny weather actually arriving in the UK this summer, it is time to get your home clean and ready for the many barbecues and evenings spent outside. Cleaning Windows Each summer, you should clean your outside windows and screens. Always use a broom to remove spider webs and dirt before using water. Be careful of possible bee, wasp, or hornet nests. Driveway and Deck Cleaning The start of summer is a great time to do these once-a-year cleaning jobs. Our first tip is to not use a power washer! They are very dangerous to you, and can destroy your deck and driveway. For outdoor decks, you can use a diluted mixture of TSP or deck cleaner, and then use a push broom or stiff brush to scrub the deck clean. Be sure to rinse well. Grease stains can be treated with kitty litter or dry cement left to absorb the stain and then swept away. Luggage Cleaning It is the time for summer holidays, so chances are you’ll be dusting of your old suitcase and bags, with this you will probably notice how dirty it has gotten since you used it last year. So here are some tips on how to clean your luggage without ruining it. Firstly, clean the outside with a diluted mild cleanser (leather should be cleaned with a commercial leather cleaner). If the inside has developed a musty smell, clean it with a vinegar-water solution. Then let it air dry for several days. After your holiday and before putting the luggage away for storage, toss a fabric softener dryer sheet into the closed bag, especially if you don’t use the luggage often to keep it fresh. So now you're set with our cleaning tips you can get your house prepared. But if you have a larger invironment that needs cleaning like an office, Total Clean Services could be just the company you are looking for. We offer bepoke contract cleaning for businesses, for more information please click here.

Cleaning Tips for Reducing Allergies

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, Environment by alan0 Comments

Chemical fumes from cleaning products are among the most common allergens in the home, according to the Asthma Society of Canada. Here are a some cleaning tips for reducing asthma and allergies, using natural products: Avoid using commercial air fresheners, as they release chemicals into the air. To create your own natural air freshener, add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil to water in a spray bottle. Toilet cleaners contain strong chemicals, so for a safer cleaner, use undiluted vinegar. Or even pour a can of fizz into your toilet to bubble away grunge and dirt. Vinegar is a great cleaning product and a natural disinfectant. You can dull down the strong smell using a few squeezes of lemon or a few drops of essential oil. Baking soda is a natural odour-absorber. To scrub dirt and clean away stains, use a microfibre cloth with a mixture of baking soda and water. Vacuum all carpets and even curtains and your bath mat regularly. If someone in your household has allergies or asthma. For more details about our services, please visit our office cleaning page.

Special Vacuum Cleaners Brought in to Get Rid of Cigarette ends

In Cleaning News, Environment, News by alan0 Comments

Scotland city centre streets have been riddled with cigarette ends since the smoking ban was introduced. So council chiefs have brought in a new specialist vacuum cleaner to sweep fag ends up more effectively. The 'Green Machines' cost around £12,000 each and are produced by Applied Sweepers, which has supplied the street vacuums to more than 30 countries worldwide. Francis Galashan said his firm received a "noticeable increase" in orders from countries and cities shortly after they introduced smoking bans. He added: 'We've supplied the machines from Broadway to Buckingham Palace, where we have royal assent from the Queen to clean up outside the palace.' 'In America they can be found from San Francisco to Times Square. We even had the voice of actor Tony Randall installed in one of our machines telling people to 'Keep New York Tidy'.' Environment leader Robert Aldridge said that there are no plans to introduce voices to Edinburgh machines yet, but suggested a few candidates. He said: 'I think the voice of James Bond would be particularly effective. These new machines and barrow beats will allow us to target litter hot-spots.' 'Improvements will include a designated overnight street cleaning team in the city centre, the extra vacuum cleaning units and additional staff employed on 'barrow beats' in litter hot-spots.' The city council allocates approximately £10 million per year for litter collection, litter bin emptying, street washing and other cleaning. Councillor Aldridge added: 'The most recent independent CIMS scores show that the city is still getting cleaner and cleaner but there will always be problem areas that we need to focus on.' 'In the city centre there is a problem with cigarette litter.'