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COVID-19 and Sustainable Resources

The Student Government Association’s Sustainability Committee has put together this list of resources to support the Ramapo College community as they navigate challenges related to sustainability and COVID-19 at this moment in time.

Sustainable Vendors & Discounts

An easy way to know if a company or product is a sustainable is to look for green product labels and third-party certifications when purchasing.

  • These labels are symbols that indicate a product has been certified to a specific environmental standard.
  • Product certification labels can also help consumers to combat greenwashing.
  • Some notable certifications include Certified B Corporation and 1% For The Planet.
  • For a comprehensive list of green labels and certifications please visit the Ecolabel Index.

Ramapo College is a member of the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), a network of over 80 campuses across the country. PLAN cultivates, educates, and inspires the student-led zero waste movement.

  • All Ramapo students, faculty and staff are able to access the Member Resources and Discounts on the PLAN website by registering with their email.
  • Resources include manuals and guides to campus waste reduction initiatives and resources, leadership trainings, 1-on-1 advising calls with any PLAN staff member.

Reusable Mask Tips

  • Cloth masks come in more sizes and some are adjustable.
  • Cloth masks will cost less, since you won’t have to keep buying more.
  • Do not reuse blue surgical masks or any other disposable mask as they are intended for single-use.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The following information is an excerpt from Green Seal’s Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines:

Maintain sustainability and healthy indoor air.

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols to protect against COVID-19 should not increase exposure to hazardous chemicals for building occupants. CDC has identified asthmatic individuals as a high-risk group for COVID-19. Choosing safer products, especially those that do not contain respiratory irritants, is critical for protecting this high-risk group.

Please do not hoard or overuse cleaning and disinfecting products, or other supplies.

Cleaning Products

It may be tempting to choose conventional chemical cleaners, but the use of certified green cleaners, such as those certified by Green Seal, is more important than ever during this time of increased cleaning frequency. Certified cleaners are proven to be as safe yet just as effective as harsher, more caustic cleaning products at removing dirt and grime.

Certified green cleaners have benefits beyond safer ingredients and proven efficacy: they are concentrates, designed to be diluted with unheated water, and thus they prevent packaging waste and reduce energy consumption for transportation and water heating.


There are many types of disinfectant products on EPA’s List N, all of which are effective at deactivating SARS-CoV-2 if used correctly. Unfortunately, disinfectants often include hazardous ingredients linked to asthma, cancer and endocrine disruption. Repeated exposure to these ingredients can increase risk of chronic disease. Given the increasing use of disinfectants amid the pandemic, it is important to assess the health hazards of these products and choose ones with lower hazard profiles. Fortunately, there are safer disinfectants available.

Green Seal recommends choosing List N products with one of the following active ingredients:

  • hydrogen peroxide**
  • citric acid
  • lactic acid
  • ethyl alcohol (also called ethanol or just alcohol), or
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • peroxyacetic acid**
  • sodium bisulfate
  • hypochlorous acid

**The combination of hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid is a designated AOEC asthmagen, so avoid products that contain both.

EPA’s Design for the Environment program (DfE) has reviewed and approved the first six active disinfectant ingredients as being safer than other EPA List N chemicals, but just as effective. LEED® also requires use of the active ingredients recommended by DfE to earn the LEED® pilot credit for cleaning and disinfecting. (LEED) In addition to DfE’s recommendations, hypochlorous acid is another active ingredient effective against the COVID-19 virus with a low hazard profile. Green Seal has certified several device-generated hypochlorous acid solutions for use as surface cleaners and disinfectants.

A product’s inactive ingredients and other factors may affect its safety. Refer to the product safety data sheet (SDS) for information on whether the overall product is classified as hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Hand Soaps and Sanitizers

Promote frequent handwashing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Certified hand soaps, such as those certified under Green Seal Standard GS-41, can reduce the occurrence of irritated skin and therefore allow increased frequency of handwashing.

Help Maintain A Healthy Campus

Ramapo College is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment. This is a shared responsibility that will require everyone to be accountable for their behavior and to follow health and safety guidelines and practices, both on and off campus.