Success Story: Maid Naturally
Maid Naturally business owners in Spokane, Ruthane Eberly and Heather Brown, decided there had to be a better solution. So they built it!
Their model is simple: compounds found in nature can clean homes and businesses. As a certified EnviroStars member, their values align with our goal to provide business-friendly solutions to keep the river and aquifer safe.
Nathan Brown, who quit his job in insurance to join his wife at Maid Naturally, says, “It all comes down to our philosophy of ‘truth in labeling.’ You can pick up any of our products, look at our full disclosure label, recognize everything that’s in it, and know that it’s safe for your home and family.”
Be a part of the Solution to Pollution: Choose EnviroStars certified Cleaning Services
EnviroStars is a widely respected, environmental certification program that businesses qualify for voluntarily. Consumers who use EnviroStars-certified cleaning services can be confident that they are supporting environmentally responsible businesses whose practices have been reviewed and rated by a local government technical advisor.
Eighty-nine percent of residents surveyed in Washington State say they are concerned about hazardous and toxic wastes in the environment, but many of them may not be thinking about household or workplace cleaning practices being a part of the problem.
We expect cleaning products to be one thing: clean. And yet they account for 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers and endanger our water quality.
Carpet cleaning, window cleaning, graffiti removal, office and house cleaning may all use chemicals that can harm people who are working, studying or living in the spaces being cleaned. Janitorial services use about six billion pounds of formulated cleaning chemicals a year. A study by Air Quality Sciences measured air quality in hundreds of American offices, schools and homes. It found levels of volatile organic compounds as much as 36 times the acceptable level within two hours after cleaning.
How EnviroStars helps
EnviroStars certified cleaning companies place a high value on environmentally responsible practices, and they work with EnviroStars consultants to make their business operations greener.
Currently 11 cleaning services are certified in King, Kitsap, Jefferson, Pierce, Skagit, Spokane, and Whatcom counties. These Cleaners have switched to non-toxic, least hazardous alternatives and practices.
Greener cleaning products and practices improve the health of the building occupants. Studies dating from the early 1990s found that improved cleaning practices could reduce dust, bacteria, fungi and volatile organic compounds by more than half. This reduced illnesses and absenteeism. Greener chemicals also reduce potential environmental impacts, such as air and water pollution.
“Cleaning is not merely an expense used to keep floors looking shiny and minimize the number of complaints relating to the lack of toilet paper in the restroom,” said cleaning industry consultant Stephen Ashkin. “Rather, it plays an incredibly important role in supporting the work of the organization’s most important asset - its people.”
If you are purchasing janitorial services or cleaning products, look for third-party certification of quality green cleaning products. Green Seal has issued an environmental certification standard, GS-37, for industrial and institutional cleaning products. Other prominent standards include EcoLogo and Design for the Environment (DfE).
In the absence of a third-party label, avoid products with the words “Danger,” “Poison” or “Warning” on the label; and remember “Only rain down the drain” outside; never pour leftover cleaning wastes down a storm drain.
Reach for the Stars: EnviroStars
Look for the EnviroStars decal in the windows of local businesses, or check our online directory to find a certified cleaning service in your neighborhood. If your current service does not have an EnviroStars certification, don’t be afraid to ask about the practices it uses. Increased public interest serves as an incentive for businesses to consider better alternatives.