April 22nd is Earth Day. As a green company though, we choose to celebrate the Earth all year long. So as a special series, we’re making April “Earth Month” here on the Maid to Clean blog.
Earth Day was started by activists in 1970 as a response to an oil spill that killed thousands of fish, birds, sea lions, and other marine wildlife. Now, fifty years later, Earth Day celebrates the protection of the planet and the species we share it with.
When Maid to Clean was started in 1996, we knew that environmentally friendly practices weren’t just a fad. We didn’t want to call ourselves “green” just to attract clients. We wanted it to mean something, and we wanted to make a difference.
Like those activists fifty years ago, we knew that a business shouldn’t be run for the sole purpose of making money, especially at the cost of the planet. There are other important reasons to run a business, like establishing positive relationships with the community and helping the planet.
So today, over twenty years later, we’re still going strong and supporting our eco-friendly values in everything we do.
Here are some ways that Maid to Clean goes above and beyond to celebrate Earth Day every day.
1. We use green cleaning products and methods – really.
With climate change making headlines in the past decade, it’s no wonder that making eco-friendly choices is popular right now. It’s a good thing that people care about the wellbeing of the planet.
Unfortunately, some companies and businesses take advantage of customers’ concerns and slap the “green” label on their products and services, even though they’re not actually doing much to help the earth.
Terms like “eco-friendly” and “green” don’t legally mean anything, and if a company makes generic enough statements, they can get by with having customers think they’re doing more than they are.
And cleaning products are some of the biggest offenders out there, as the market is not as strongly regulated as other industries.
This practice, referred to as “greenwashing,” can hurt well-meaning consumers, who want to do the right thing but don’t have the time or energy to look into the business practices of every single company they buy from. So-called “green” cleaning products can be just as toxic to your family, and can still hurt the environment just as much.
With a big decision like what maid company you’re going with, you should spend time looking into what products and methods your cleaners are using. A reliable service will happily and honestly answer any questions you might have. Don’t choose someone who is deceptive up front; choose someone who will follow through on their promises.
2. Our products are safe for our clients, our cleaners, and the planet.
Speaking of green products, we choose to use natural cleaning methods wherever possible. Vinegar and baking soda are some of our favorites. These natural solutions are effective cleaners – and they’re perfectly safe for your whole family.
Other non-eco-friendly maid services use harsh chemicals. While these chemicals do their job at cleaning your home, they can leave your house smelling of strong fragrance, and they can aggravate respiratory problems.
They’re even worse news for the environment.
When cleaning products get rinsed down the drain, they don’t just disappear. Certain pollutants, such as ammonia and nitrogen, are commonly found in your average cleaning product.
Unfortunately, waste treatment plants don’t remove these pollutants from the water, so they end up back in the water source.
This can have a devastating effect on rivers, wetlands, and other habitats. These pollutants can cause rapid algae growth, which takes over natural water sources. The algae blocks sunlight and decreases the oxygen levels in the water, forcing other species to move away or die.
By choosing environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar – or going with a service that uses these products – you can do your part to reduce your impact on nature.
Plus, you’ll be able to breathe cleaner in your own home. It’s a win-win for everyone.
3. We schedule cleanings to reduce fuel consumption.
Having our cleaning crews driving all over town from one client to the next is inefficient, both in fuel and in time. That’s why we choose to schedule cleanings by region. It is far more fuel efficient to serve several clients who live close together.
And if it’s possible, our cleaning crew has the option to bike to work. This further reduces fuel consumption, as biking has zero emissions.
Even though this limits our range of service, we believe this helps us better serve the clients we have in our surrounding area.
4. We reuse, reduce, and recycle wherever possible.
The slogan “reuse, reduce, and recycle” has been around for almost as long as Earth Day, since 1976. But it’s a good motto to live by, and Maid to Clean works to follow “the three Rs” wherever we can.
Our cleaning crews don’t use disposable or one-use items such as paper towels, wipes, or non-refillable spray bottles. These products create a lot of waste. We choose to use washable cleaning cloths and refillable spray bottles. They’re just as effective as the more wasteful disposable options.
We further reduce waste by buying in bulk and recycling things that do need to be thrown away.
“Reuse, reduce, and recycle” also extends to our offices. Not only do we reuse and recycle our printer paper, but we also run off of solar power, and raise bees.
5. Our office is solar powered.
Since 2010, our office has run on the energy of on-site solar panels. Solar power is one of the cleanest sources of energy out there. Unlike natural gas, coal, and other energy sources, there’s no output of harmful pollution.
Plus it’s renewable – the sun will come out tomorrow!
We choose to be future-minded and consider technology that makes sense for the planet. Even though it might have been simpler to stick with traditional energy sources, we believe that renewable, clean energy sources are the future.
6. We raise bees.
Bees are an important species, supporting the whole ecosystem. Without them, we wouldn’t have nearly the range of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and trees.
Bees are in a vulnerable position right now, with huge numbers mysteriously dying or disappearing from their hives. While scientists don’t have a clear answer to why this is happening, it is clear that bees need all the support they can get.
To help them and the surrounding ecosystem, we raise bees at our office, as well as at the nearby Franciscan monastery. We hope that in providing these beneficial insects a home, we can help sustain their local populations.
If you have any questions about our green cleaning practices, or anything else, feel free to contact us today.