What is green cleaning?

That is the big question at last week’s Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) meeting held in Boca Raton, Florida.

Some interpreted it as using renewable-based or natural/organic raw materials in their products while others try to eliminate any type of chemicals at all (is that possible??)

Others see it as phasing out non-environment-friendly chemicals from their products and replacing it with alternative chemicals that have less environment impact. A cleaning product can also be green, others noted, by reducing their packaging and making them reusable or recyclable.

Reducing emission and energy use in the manufacturing of a cleaning product could also earn a green mark.

A presentation by Ray Anderson, chairman of global carpet manufacturer Interface and a recipient of several international green awards, gave his own interpretation of green as mimicking nature’s factory and processes. Everything has a use and nothing is wasted.

“It means creating the technologies of the future-kinder, gentler technologies that emulate nature’s systems. I believe that’s where we will find the right model,” said Anderson

The air was somewhat thick with skepticism as the meeting’s key speaker finished his speech.

Clearly, most chemical companies that attended the SDA meeting have their own definition of green cleaning as evident in their exhibits.

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As the show wrapped up on Saturday the question lingered….What is green??

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