Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Ashkin group release 12.17

December 16, 2010
Tips on Making the Holiday Season More Sustainable
Bloomington, IN - Stephen Ashkin, the "father of Green Cleaning" and one of the professional cleaning industry''s foremost advocates promoting sustainability, has just released his Tips on Making This a More Sustainable Holiday Season.
"The tip sheet covers everything from the packaging used to wrap holiday gifts to the types of gifts themselves," says Ashkin. "The goal is to give as we always do, but just do it in a more environmentally responsible and sustainable way."
With that said, Ashkin offers the following sustainable-holiday suggestions:
1. Wrap gifts using recycled paper or reusable items. About 42 million tons of gift wrapping are used this time of year in the United States. Consider using recycled gift wrap or placing gifts in reusable baskets or fabric bags.
2. If you want a tree, select a live holiday tree. Most artificial holiday trees are made from materials that cannot be recycled. Fresh-cut trees often come from farms where new trees will be planted.
3. Use LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. LED lamps consume less than a quarter of the electricity used by a typical light bulb, come in a variety of shapes and colors, last longer, and are far safer.
4. Purchase gifts from local vendors. Some retailers cater to local companies, and purchasing their products can mean fewer carbon emissions are released in transportation.
5. Give a gift of service. Instead of a product, consider a gift of service such as tickets to a show, a free home cleaning, or dinner and a night at a local hotel.
6. Give a gift of time. Freeing up someone''s time by making a home-cooked meal or offering to baby-sit can prove to be a meaningful gift to the right person.
7. Give sustainable lifestyle gifts. Giving a free monthly bus pass or paying for a year''s worth of curbside recycling can put someone on the road to becoming a more environmentally responsible citizen.
"There are lots of ways to make this a more sustainable holiday season," says Ashkin. "And just remember, every sustainable gift we give is also a gift honoring our planet."
Steve Ashkin is available for interviews, presentations, and commentary on Green Cleaning-related issues, sustainable buildings, industry trends, and facility management. He may be reached by calling (812) 332-7950.
About Stephen Ashkin and The Ashkin Group
Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in greening the cleaning industry, as well as Sustainablity Tool LLC, an electronic dashboard that allows jansan companies to measure, track and report on their facility''s environmental impacts, He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies.
Ashkin has worked in the cleaning industry since 1981 and has held senior management positions in leading consumer and commercial product companies. He began his work on Green Cleaning in 1990 and today is thought of as the "father of Green cleaning". For more information, visit