NCL Admin


celebrate-earth-day-2015-april-22 Wednesday, April 22, 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970 a new campaign launched to increase awareness of the dangers of pollution on our environment, at a time when the word environment did not have a large presence in our national vocabulary. At the time, the burgeoning movement had many challenges which have since been met. But now, 45 years later, new challenges and roadblocks still pose an impeding presence.


logo from the first Earth Day in 1970

April of 1970 was a far different world than the world we live in now. Computers were huge monstrosities used by organizations like NASA, not a small device that fits in your pocket, which also allows you to make phone calls. The Super Bowl was still in its infancy, not yet the national craze and source of an unofficial holiday. A war raged in Southeast Asia and American college students were subject to being involuntarily drafted into the armed services.

The prospect of being drafted into a war they did not agree with led many students into large, visible, public protests. Around the same time in 1969, a Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, was a first-hand witness of the damage caused by an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Seven years earlier, Rachel Carson authored her New York Times bestseller Silent Spring, which was the unofficial kick start to what we now know as the modern environmental movement. But, despite the best-selling status of Silent Spring, the American public was largely unmotivated or unconcerned enough to do anything of substance to change the way society operated in order to reverse the negative effect of pollution. It was then, in 1969, when Senator Nelson had the vision to channel the energy of the Vietnam protests on college campuses and create a similar energy and awareness for the environmental movement.


Senator Gaylord Nelson (D) Wisconsin

Senator Nelson’s vision became reality and blossomed into the movement we see today. In 1995 he was awarded the highest honor a civilian American can achieve, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.



Through these 45 years, the Earth Day movement has increased awareness of environmental issues and that increased awareness inspired many changes for a healthier environment here in the United States, along with around the world. But, as problems were solved and concerns minimized, new problems and concerns arose, which in some cases, caused greater concern for the future in terms of our planet’s vitality.

It is not known exactly if the environmental impact specifically caused by janitorial chemicals and procedures played a part in Nelson’s decision to start Earth Day, but it is probably safe to assume other issues ranked higher in the pecking order. However, there is no discounting the effect that Earth Day and the entire environmental movement has had on the Jan San industry, leading to where we are here and now in 2015.

The awareness level is already high amongst those in the jan/san industry, some government officials who implement policy, and some facility maintenance leaders who recognize the benefits of “going green”. The amount of independent businesses that make the decision to go green increases every year. But, there are still many holdouts when it comes to greening up their facility maintenance.

Earth Day 2015 should focus on those individuals, who in an era of increased awareness and acceptance, along with decreasing objections, still insist on formulating objections to the implementation of environmentally friendly maintenance procedures at their facilities.

There was a time here in the United States, where it was mostly educational and governmental institutions who, under direct government mandates, utilized “green” facility maintenance practices. The private sector, however, objected. The objections usually fell into one of two categories. The environmentally friendly products were either too expensive or they were not effective or strong enough to do the job. That may have been the case previously, and only the most die-hard environmentalist could argue those points. As much as everyone may want to make the “eco-responsible” choice, businesses do have to watch their bottom line and make sure the products and supplies they purchase do the job with complete effectiveness.

But, as we approach Earth Day 2015, we are in an era where the environmentally friendly products are a closer match in both price point and strength/effectiveness. Across the board we are seeing objections decrease at facilities in multiple industries, but work still needs to be done on the front lines. The most common objections do not hold as much water today as they did previously, and the advantages brought about by switching over to environmentally friendly products and procedures may not be immediately evident on the surface.

Green Seal President and CEO Arthur Weissman (left), NCL Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Bill Smith (center), and NCL President/CEO Harry Pollack (right) at ISSA-INTERCLEAN in Orlando, Florida (11/25/2014)

Green Seal President and CEO Arthur Weissman (left), NCL Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Bill Smith (center), and NCL President/CEO Harry Pollack (right) at ISSA-INTERCLEAN in Orlando, Florida. NCL was recognized for ten years of producing Green Seal Certified products. (November 2014)

Switching over to an entire green program in facility maintenance includes more than just the cleaning chemicals. It includes environmentally responsible choices with (recycled) paper, mops (flat microfiber mops with reservoir tanks), vacuums (high level filtration/with HEPA filters), energy efficient equipment, water conservation, and eco-friendly procedures. In educational environments, the new products and procedures can serve as a lesson toward environmental responsibility education. In the private sector, these new products and procedures will create a healthier work environment. A healthier work environment correlates to employees who take less sick days and have a higher than usual work satisfaction rate. Employees with higher work satisfaction rates and less time missed while ill are more productive. More productive employees lead to increased production. Increased productions typically equates into more money generated for the business. Now, that simple series of events outlines how the money objection can be flipped upside down and back around, into a gateway toward a conversation illustrating how green cleaning can put more money back into your target’s pocket.

Take Earth Day this year as your chance to show a reluctant business that going green will not only help the Earth, but may also add green to their wallet.



NCL’s Earth Sense line of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions



NCL Earth Sense products



NCL products certified by the third party organization, Green Seal



NCL products certified by U.S. EPA Design for Environment (DfE)



Healthy Schools Campaign



Green Hotels Association