Pacific Grove High school makes its contribution to a healthier planet by not using harmful cleaning products and other pesticides on their campus. Matt Kelly, vice president at Pacific Grove High School, was approached early in 2017 by Non Toxic Pacific Grove (NTPG) after the school district began to use eco-friendly cleaning products.
Non-Toxic Pacific Grove is an organization modeled after Non Toxic Irvine (NTI). NTI has been very successful in partnering with schools in hopes to reduce their ecological footprint and encourage them to use earth friendly cleaning products. Along with another earth friendly organization, Sustainable Pacific Grove, Non Toxic Pacific Grove has partnered with PGUSD to improve on uses of harmful products to the environment.
In the years leading up to 2017, Pacific Grove High School had already greatly reduced the amount of pesticides and toxic cleaning products it used. Guided by the Integrated Pest Management Plan, supplied by the Department of Pesticide Regulation, PGUSD sufficiently cut down their uses of harmful products. After seeing the progress made by PGHS, NTPG contacted Matt Kelly to take further steps to be ecologically efficient.
“It is important to educate the city council and the community about the importance of eliminating unnecessary chemicals from our environment.” sais Colleen Ingram, a member of both Non Toxic Pacific Grove and Sustainable Pacific Grove. Pesticides and toxic cleaning products are harmful not only to the environment and wildlife, but to students and faculty as well. Toxic cleaning products can affect the air around them, and may cause harm to students who are sensitive when exposed to those chemicals.
Schools often focus on providing healthy lunches and physical education classes to their students, but most schools do not have these same concerns when it comes to their cleaning products. It is true that un-natural cleaning products kill germs, but they are also responsible for over 10% of the toxic exposure calls made to the Department of Poison Control. NTPG is working hard with Pacific Grove city officials and other organizations in the area to try to provide safe eco friendly alternatives to harmful cleaning supplies and pesticides used by businesses and schools.
PGHS proudly takes this step forward into a modern time of healthy alternatives to chemical product in hopes to improve the environment and decrease health risks for students. Matt Kelly bravely decided to take the leap and not only cut down, but use no pesticides at all and all natural cleaning products in the 2018-2019 school year. This is a great success for PGUSD, NTPG and the city of Pacific Grove as a whole.