Environmentally preferable means "products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.
Cabarrus County has implemented an Environmental Preferable Purchasing Policy. The goal is to maximize the use of renewable or recycled source materials and those materials which have optimal lifecycles. Environmentally preferable items include those made from post consumer recycled materials and or those that are certified "environmentally preferable" by third party organizations such as Green Seal.
Cabarrus County has implemented a "Green Cleaning Program". This includes the use of Green Seal certified products from Buckeye International, Inc. Not only does Buckeye provide Green Seal certified cleaning products, but they also train Cabarrus County custodians on proper cleaning techniques and proper amounts of cleaners to use. These products reduce the custodians' exposure to harmful chemicals and they also help improve indoor air quality.
Cabarrus County also uses paper products made from recycled content as well products such as paints and adhesives that have low VOC content which also improves indoor air quality.
Cabarrus County has recently begun using carpeting in County facilities that can be described as "cradle to cradle". This carpet is made from recycled material and low VOC backing and adhesives. When the carpet is worn, it is sent back to the manufacturer where it will be recycled into new carpeting.