Solomon Gets Clean & Green

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - June 16, 2010
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Solomon Elementary School parent Mikel Maddox (left) has her hands sanitized by a school employee using Activeion Pro while Maddox’s daughter, Faith Alvarado, concentrates on her lunch. Photo by Elaine Terry.

Solomon Elementary School has gone green by using eco-friendly cleaners, and praises are coming in.

“If we can help keep our custodians safe from the harsh chemicals they use on a daily basis, that is a win-win for them, the students and the environment,“said the school’s head custodian Pauline Valoroso. “It is something I believe would help. They need to be safe for good health.”

A part-time teacher with allergies also weighed in on the changes, since the campus offers dust, tank exhaust and artillery-fire irritants that hang around the busy Army post. “I’m happy and the custodians are very happy,“she declared.

Before principal Linda Yoshikami retired in March, she invited Rose Galera of the Professional Cleaning Institute of Hawaii to demonstrate the green products, which the school is now using. Galera also led a cleaning workshop for other Leeward and Central district educators. The Solomon session was part of the International Executive Housekeeping Association’s partnership with the Healthy Schools Campaign and U.S. Green Building Council.

Valoroso said they started phasing in green products last summer.

“The microfiber cloth is considered one of our professional tools,“she explained.“It absorbs more and cleans faster.“The backpack vacuum with an extension makes it easier and safer to reach higher places, and the Activeion sprayer ionizes tap water to sanitize children’s hands before lunch. It also sanitizes cafeteria tables,desktops and counter tops.

Valoroso also showed teachers how to use Activeion for their classrooms. “It’s better than the alcohol sanitizers. It is a charged ionized water that sanitizes on contact. It picks up surface germs and dirt.“It also kills the H1N1 virus.

Solomon custodians now use microfiber mops, similar to dust mops.“When you use the broom, you sweep up all the dust,“she explained.“With the microfiber dust mop we get into tight places where we weren’t able to, and we can wash it and reuse it.”

But of course, before using any product, she said they check to see that it does what it says it will do.

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