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World Earth Day: Zero Discharge from Hazardous Chemicals

Hi everyone, my name is Mark, I'm the Area Manager for our Store Services department. 

Today is World Earth Day; an annual celebration that honours the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect the Earths natural resources for the future. Here at Harrods, we have committed to helping the environment in many ways through our sustainability strategy and our path to a more sustainable future. One of the ways we have recently done this is by committing to review all our cleaning chemicals to ensure zero discharge from hazardous cleaning chemicals throughout our operations

Over the past year, Harrods has substantially increased our cleaning and sanitation regime across the store, to keep our employees and customers safe from covid-19. However, we need to ensure that this increase in deep cleaning, and the products and equipment we use, does not have an impact on our environmental commitments.

In line with our sustainability commitment towards building a path to a more sustainable future, at Harrods, we have introduced a change to some of the cleaning chemicals we use across the business.

We recently started using an environmentally friendly cleaning system Tersano iClean Minis, which has been approved to clean, sanitise and combat virus’ including Covid-19. This change has been introduced to ensure that while we are cleaning and sanitising all areas of our business to keep our customers and employees safe, we do so whilst having a minimal impact on the environment. Our new cleaning system produces zero discharge of hazardous chemicals waste and is also in line with commitments of the Walpole Sustainability Manifesto that we have committed to. 

The device turns water into a safe, effective cleaner and sanitiser which is stronger than bleach, with zero hazardous chemicals, often found in traditional cleaning chemicals. Additionally, it kills 99% of germs combats virus’ including Covid and protects people with allergies or sensitive skin from the harsh effects of chemicals. Most importantly it is harmless to the environment as the oxidizing solution reverts back to water and oxygen.

Here are some tips on how you can clean more sustainably at home:

Many household cleaning products contain wasteful and hazardous chemicals. If you are planning a spring clean, here are some ways you can help support the environment in your day to day cleaning habits.

1. Ditch the paper towels and use reusable cloths for cleaning around the home for example microfibre cloths
2. Get yourself a magic sponge, this only requires plain warm water and will remove many stubborn stains around the house.
3. Go back to basics and clean with products you may have lying around such as vinegar and baking soda – they are non-toxic. Here are some ways to clean with both:

- Vinegar and water can work as a cleaner for metal, windows, glass surfaces (shower doors included!) floors, and grout
- Scrub baking soda and/or vinegar with water to remove mould
- Baking soda can be used to scrub residue off pots and pans
- Baking soda and vinegar together can act as a great stovetop/grill cleaner, especially as barbecue season is around the corner as summer approaches. Pour Baking soda with a little vinegar onto a stovetop or a grill surface, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub gently with a reusable sponge.

4. A little lemon and baking soda (or salt) can keep stainless steel products clean and shiny. Cut a lemon in half, add salt or baking soda to the fruit, and use the lemon as a sponge to polish metal. (Compost the fruit afterwards!)
5. Purchase some eco-friendly cleaning products, from brands such as The Method, Ecozone and Ecover
6. Use natural air purifiers, such as indoor plants, which additionally can bring a room to life. Long-lasting plants such as Snake Plants are also efficient air purifiers that improve air quality by absorbing pollutants through their roots and leaves.

That's all from me, all the best everyone. 

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