Local Green Business

This was written for my JRN 472 class in March 2011.

Bright pink Easter baskets contrast with pale matzo on supermarket shelves as Americans prepare for spring celebrations. While palms and Seder represent something divine, the season also brings a practical ritual.

With spring fever comes spring-cleaning, as Americans across the country drag dusty mops and buckets out of storage in order to wash away winter’s mess. For those meet this period with groans, Ted Alvarez wants to help.

Alvarez is the owner and manager of Go Green Cleaning Services in Lansing, Michigan. Along with providing cleaning services for both businesses and private residences, Go Green Cleaning Services is committed to being an environmentally minded business, according to Alvarez.

“It provides an environment free of hazardous chemicals for both the customers and the workers,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez started Go Green Cleaning Services three-and-a-half years ago after noticing a demand in the market.

“More people are understanding the importance of eco-friendly solutions,” said Alvarez.

Go Green Cleaning Services uses only products that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as green products. These include have little or no skin irritants and contain absolutely no ozone depleting ingredients, according to the EPA’s website.

“If the label includes an EPA registration number, then the EPA regulates the product,” said Margaret L. Jones, who works for the Land and Chemicals Division of the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, Illinois. The EPA keeps a list of disinfectants proven through EPA testing to be helpful in controlling certain pathogens, added Jones.

But the green practices of Alvarez’s company do not stop at just natural cleaners, said Alvarez. All Go Green Cleaning Services’ equipment is eco-friendly as well. Reusable microfiber cloths are used in place of paper towels, HEPA vacuums are used to improve air quality (in addition to meeting efficiency standards set by the United States Department of Energy), microfiber mops are used to reduce the water waste of traditional mops and all the containers holding cleaning products are recycled, said Alvarez. Even the more administrative-focused tasks at the company are done in a greener way.

“We limit paper products,” said Alvarez. “All our invoices and proposals are emailed.”

Green businesses, like Go Green Cleaning Services, may not only be beneficial to the environment, but also to the pocketbook of the owners and employees. Research has shown that green businesses save money by using resources more carefully and operate efficiently in other areas, said Maya Fischhoff, assistant director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University. Fischhoff added that having a green business can also help attract customers.

“The business may win customers by having a positive, green image,” said Fischhoff. “There’s also research showing that employees may be more willing to work at a company with a green image.”

Alvarez can certainly see the benefits of a owning and marketing a green business.

“In some ways, green products are cheaper due to the availability of natural elements,” said Alvarez. “No need for chemicals which are costly.” There has been a higher demand for his services as people realize the benefits of natural cleaners, added Alvarez.

For more information about Go Green Cleaning Services or to request a price estimate, visit http://www.gogreencleaningservices.net.

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