I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Saudia Davis, the brain behind GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning, a New-York based green cleaning service. Saudia started her business in 2006 after her grandmother, a professional cleaner, passed away from cancer. Saudia believes her grandmother's health declined as a result of inhaling harsh chemicals in cleaning products over the years. For this reason, she set out to spread the word about sustainable living through her green cleaning service. "Think about how you interact with the world and how you can make better choices," Saudia says. "You'll be surprised that green living is not a hard process. It's about incorporating green elements into your life in simple ways."
Here are some of Saudia's green cleaning tips:
Clean a little bit every day. This will make cleaning more manageable for you and more importantly, you can lower your stress level by keeping spaces neat and clear of clutter. Having a clean space also decreases the probability of developing illnesses.
Try natural cleaning solutions. A mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean ovens, bathtubs, glass and even chrome. Ketchup can be used to clean copper. And if you couple vinegar with olive oil, you can use it to clean wood furniture. Using natural solutions doesn't mean you need to discard the cleaning products you currently own, Saudia says. "Using them up is actually a better solution because once they're dumped, they end up getting into the soil, which then means it'll end up in our water."
Invest in an air purifier. Indoor air quality can be just as toxic as outdoor air quality, especially in the New York area, where most people live near busy streets. Maintaining the air quality in your home can help you breathe and sleep better, control allergies and prevent migraines and other pains. Saudia recommends Hepa air filters/purifiers.)
Know what's in the cleaning products you purchase. Many advertisers are guilty of green washing, so to find out if the cleaning products you buy are truly eco-friendly, secure an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for information on a product's contents. Just because it comes in a pretty bottle and mentions that it's biodegradeable doesn't make it good," Saudia says.
So what's the cleaning strategy for someone who runs a green cleaning service? "Everything I bake, cook and clean with are all in the same place and are all interchangeable," Saudia says. "It should never be that I'm using a product and feel I can't breathe."
Photo: Courtesy of GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning