People we Love: Arizona State Senator Ed Ableser

How green should schools be when it comes to cleaning?

According to Arizona State Senator Ed Ableser (D-Tempe), school cleaning could be a whole lot greener. In fact, Ableser recently introduced a bill that would require schools to use cleaning supplies that are considered eco-friendly, saying it would promote health among students.

“Schools are where our children are,” Ableser recently told Cronkite News. “We need to use green products to promote health.”

With this goal in mind, Ableser authored SB 1072, a bill that would require public school districts and charter schools to use “environmentally sensitive cleaning products” after depleting current stocks. The bill also states that if a school can’t afford to purchase green cleaning products, it would have to provide written documentation showing why they can’t.

Ableser’s bill reaches even higher than green cleaning into the green power realm—the current bill would require school districts, universities, community college districts, and state agencies to purchase at least 10 percent of their power from “green sources” by 2019. The far-reaching, eco-focused bill would also provide grants to conserve electricity and water in public buildings.

How feasible is it that this bill would come to pass? While there is some rising concern about the increase in childhood asthma rates—which many blame on the use of harsh cleaning chemicals in schools—there is a pushback from administrators who have concerns about both increasing costs and killing germs properly. In many cases, however, greener cleaning methods have proven just as effective as conventional methods; they’ve also been shown to incur a similar (or sometimes lower) cost than conventional cleaners.

SB 1072 provisions:

• School districts and charter schools would have to adopt a green cleaning policy by Dec. 31, 2015, and use “environmentally sensitive” cleaning products.

• The state Department of Education and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality would establish guidance on what qualifies as acceptable cleaning supplies.

• School districts, community colleges, universities and state agencies would have to purchase at least 10 percent of their energy from “green sources.”

Erinn Morgan


After a 10-year career as an award-winning New York City-based editor launching and redesigning urban, style-driven magazines, Erinn Morgan left downtown Manhattan after September 11th, 2001, in search of a less encumbered, freelance lifestyle. A two-year-long trek around the country eventually landed her in Durango, Colo., which she now calls home.

Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Bike, Skiing, Delicious Living, American Cowboy, and on

Erinn is also the author of the eco-focused book, Picture Yourself Going Green, Step-by-Step Instruction for Living a Budget-Conscious, Earth-Friendly Lifestyle in Eight Weeks or Less.

She was previously the editor-in-chief of 20/20 magazine, a special projects editor at Playboy (overseeing the launch of a new, custom magazine), and the founding editor/editor-in-chief of SoHo Style, a much-lauded, avant-garde magazine that covered the culture and style of downtown New York and its reach around the world.

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