When we started Freedom Cleaning, in January of 2006, we were not really concerned with being green, to be frank. We would go out to the local Target or Wal-Mart to buy our cleaning supplies and they worked. That was all we cared about.
About six months later, I had developed a cough and it seemed like my throat was always raw. I had cleaned six to eight bathrooms a day, five days a week, for the last six months and I felt like it was taking a toll. I decided to do some research on green cleaning. I had heard from other cleaning service owners and other cleaners about green cleaning, but it seemed to be a fringe element. Green Cleaning did not seem to be part of the mainstream. After learning about the health effects of some of the ingredients present in your typical cleaning agent (tetrachloroethylene, sodium hydroxide and toluene) we decided to look for an alternative. We started incorporating more green cleaners into our arsenal of cleaning solutions and I began extolling the virtues of green cleaning to friends and clients.
We started to talk to other cleaning service owners and asking them about green cleaning and we said we were thinking about going all green, soon. The majority advised against it. “There’s no profit in it”, they would say. “The public doesn’t want it” or “There’s no market for it” still others said.
In the spring of 2007, Tim Holtz, who owns a local garden center, invited me to give a seminar on green cleaning. He even offered to let me use his store to hold the seminar. I printed up brochures and training materials and was really excited for the opportunity. The event appeared in the catalog of the Anoka Ramsey Community College community education classes. The seminar never happened. About a week before we were supposed to present our views on why green cleaning was healthy and affordable, the seminar was cancelled. Why, you may ask? Nobody signed up. Not a single soul.
Do a general search today for green cleaning on any search engine you like and you will be amazed at the myriad of options out there. Some of the related searches that come up are methods, products, recipes, techniques and certification. Yes, green cleaning has hit the mainstream and to be honest, I’m glad.