It’s not uncommon to think using bleach and other conventional cleaning products will result in the cleanest environment possible. As a society, we’ve been trained to think this way, and generally speaking, it’s not necessarily untrue. Yet, although typical chemical cleaners are well-known for their power to disinfect, and kill germs and bacteria, overuse of such products can often do more harm than good.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American home contains air that could be as much as five times more polluted than the air outside of the home’s front door. An even tougher realization is that a great number of conventional household cleaning products are among the greatest contributors to such elevated levels of indoor air pollution.
Many common cleaners are known to leave a trail of chemicals throughout the home, especially when they’re sprayed into the air. Even cleaning carpets or upholstery with certain sprays or foams can cause dwellers and pets to come in direct contact with a variety of chemical pollutants that can have harmful health effects.
We’re Green Clean, a local environmentally conscious cleaning service company, is dedicated to using a more holistic approach to cleaning. Through a variety of methods, We’re Green Clean ensures their customers that their safe-havens are both germ and pollutant-free.
Founded in 2002 by Ellen and Jimmy Cuneo, We’re Green Clean became a reality after the couple had dreamed of owning a family business. Ellen Cuneo recalls thinking, “I clean my house all day, every day, and I never get paid. So, guess I’ll clean houses.”
As the primary cleaner of her own home, Ellen Cuneo knew she had the skills and insight to make sure her family’s living environment was dependably clean, so she and her husband figured they would start a business helping others to have the same.
Yet, it wasn’t until five years later that the couple made the decision to evolve We’re Green Clean into what it is today.
“The idea to be an eco-cleaning company actually came after the birth of our youngest daughter. I made the decision to rid our own home of toxic cleaning chemicals,” said Cuneo.
Many people may not be aware that cleaning with harsh solutions can cause various levels of irritation to the skin and eyes. In fact, the EPA has named specific compounds, such as alkylphenol ethoxylates (a common ingredient in cleaners) to have such adverse health effects. In addition, many household cleaning ingredients can cause damage to the home. Chemicals like phosphorous and nitrogen can contribute to nutrient build-up when washed down the drain. This can cause the water quality in homes to be harmful in extreme cases. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in cleaning products can add to airborne pollutants indoors and outdoors.
Because of these kinds of safety hazards, We’re Green Clean only uses natural, non-toxic Green Seal Certified® products that are as equally effective as traditional cleaners. We’re Green Clean is also an official distributor of Young Living Essential Oils and Thieves cleaning products, both of which are organically made. They even go beyond using these types of cleaning products.
“We also enjoy cleaning with special homemade recipes made from ingredients including baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs,” says Cuneo.
Even more impressive is their combination of integrated practices and thorough maintenance at reasonable prices. Overall, most organic or eco-friendly products cost more than traditional ones; this tends to drive consumers to the cheaper route. Cuneo hasn’t let this fact hike up the prices for their service, but she does believe people will spend their money on whatever is important to them.
“If they are frugal, they will find ways to purchase or produce less expensive cleaning supplies, whether their natural or [conventional],” said Cuneo.
The business’s holistic approach to cleaning includes using non-toxic equipment and tools in addition to their cleaning solutions. They even train their employees to have their cleaning practices up to the company’s ‘green standard’. They have also greatly diminished their paper waste by cleaning with reusable micro fiber cleaning cloths and mops. These cloths use less cleaner and attracts more dust and dirt than paper towels.
On their website, GreenCleanBirmingham.com, customers can get a free quote to price their cleaning experience. They offer weekly, bimonthly or monthly regularly scheduled maintenance, but they don’t mind working around their customer’s schedule. The company also brings all their own cleaning supplies and equipment to make their services efficient and hassle-free. In addition to homes, We’re Green Clean provides maintenance to commercial spaces like offices, churches, banks and even fitness facilities.
“We also contract with property management companies to clean HOA (Homeowner’s Association) properties and rental properties. Local residential real estate agents call on us to service properties for their buyers and sellers,” said Cuneo.
Most recently, We’re Green Clean have been hired to clean for Sean Dickson, Owner of Combat Fitness Training Facility and Riverchase CrossFit. The business continues to grow and expand their services while encouraging their customers to expand their perceptions of what it takes to really clean a room. A new milestone they were proud to reach was ranking No. 5 in the Birmingham Business Journal’s list of top janitorial firms in the city.
With so much cooking, decorating and gift wrapping going on during the holidays, making sure the house is chemical-free can easily take a back seat. Cuneo is especially excited about business during this busy season and hopes people don’t forget the importance of a clean environment to fill with cheer. She goes as far as comparing keeping the home healthy to keeping the body healthy, which can be challenging during the dreaded cold and flu season. She provides the following insight for this hectic time:
“It’s important to properly care for ourselves. Start with proper diet, nutrition and exercise, and then treat your home to the same regiment. Proper diet, nutrition and exercise for our homes and businesses means making use of the healthy, less toxic cleaning products. It’s best to use homemade [products], infusing [your home] with essential oils, and then a routine cleaning schedule.”
With We’re Green Clean, Cuneo proves that homeowners don’t have to sacrifice their money or sanitation for a truly healthful clean.
For more information, or to request a quote, visit www.greencleanbirmingham.com.