GREEN or not Green

Beach Scene with Green Earth Logo

Throughout the years more and more people are becoming
eco-friendly conscious. We all want to live healthy , conserve energy, recycle
whatever we can, and use products that are deemed “green”.

So what does make a product or service “green”? It takes research, but that means
knowing what to research and where. The least I can do is give you some
information on Oakwood “The Greener” Cleaners.

Here at Oakwood Cleaners we like to think of ourselves as
the “Greener Cleaner”.  We use a solvent
called “GreenEarth”.  As a GreenEarth
cleaner we use no hazardous chemicals to pollute our soil, water or air and
thus non-toxic to the environment.  As a
“Greener Cleaner”:  we don’t use
petrochemicals like most dry cleaners and there is also no chemical odor from
the GreenEarth solvent so your clothes always smell fresh.  We suggest our degradable poly bags be
recycled so they will be in the correct environment for complete decomposition
within a year. Of course we gladly take back your wire hangers as well as our
plastic hangers for recycling. Our tissue paper is constructed from recycled
paper and we try to do as much of our printed marketing materials on 100%
recycled content: 100% post consumer waste, chlorine-free paper, made with 100%
green energy.

As a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists we partner with Carbonfund.org. We offset all carbon dioxide emissions that result from the process of cleaning and preserving your wedding gown-including your trip to and from our establisment, all cleansing, and the wedding chest’s manufature-with our donation to Carbonfund.org, the leading non profit carbon offset and climate solutions organization.

We are also certified with the Green Cleaners Council.

Our lighting in our plant is in accordance with NES guidelines for effiency as well as our washers and dryers.

We know there are many businesses “Green” and we applaud the efforts of everyone trying to make our
world a better place.

Please help us in our effort for a sustainable planet. Here
are 10 tips for a “greener” lifestyle that I found on Care2.com by Annie B. Bond

1. Natural Clothing

Fibers made from animals and insects include wool, silk, mohair, cashmere,
camel hair and angora. Animal fibers usually have attributes not found in
manmade or plant fibers. For example, a sheep’s wool fleece is designed to wick
perspiration from the animal, thereby helping to regulate its body temperature,
and wool provides the same benefit as human clothing or bedding.

Plant
fibers include cotton, hemp, linen, jute, kenaf, and ramie. Plant fibers
breathe, enabling the release of perspiration through natural fiber clothing.
Plant fibers also usually are very good at absorbing moisture. Linen tea towels
are excellent for drying dishes for this reason, for example.

Read
labels to find clothing made of 100 percent natural fibers such as from those
mentioned above. Common names of synthetic fabrics are polyester, acetate and
nylon. Rayon is a manmade fabric made of natural materials, but the widespread
practice in gathering the fiber is to use virgin tree pulp, which is not
sustainable.

2. Natural Food

Read labels. Look for food words you recognize, and always opt for the product
that that has the fewest unrecognizable words. This rule of thumb may seem
simplistic, but it works, since food manufacturers do not translate commonly
known food names into a chemical name on packages. The spice turmeric is called
turmeric and is a welcome natural yellow dye substitute to find on a label
instead of an FD&C dye.

3. Natural Personal Care

Just because a personal care product is sold in a natural foods store doesn’t
mean that it is a product made of natural materials. (This scenario doesn’t
apply to cleaning products as those found in natural food stores are usually
genuinely green products.) The rule of thumb for finding natural personal care
products is the same as for food: Read the labels for ingredients you recognize
as being real, and buy those. Aubrey Organics and Weleda are two brands that
are genuinely natural.

4. Natural Cleaning

Health food stores are also very good sources of green cleaning products. Get
to know some of the brands found there (Seventh Generation, Ecover) and then
search them out in bigger supermarkets, or ask your supermarkets to begin to
carry the brands. Mix and match green cleaning products with simple
do-it-yourself formulas using kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Click here for a
collection of my favorite formulas.

5. Natural Pest Control and Repellents

Most people don’t realize that if a pesticide is registered by the
Environmental Protection Agency, it means that it has been approved by the EPA
to be effective. The registration does not mean that the product has been
approved to be safe. Many pesticides are highly neurotoxic, and all are
designed to kill. Choose natural and preventative alternatives instead. Here
are some excellent resources for alternatives to pesticides:

6. Natural Bedding

You can readily buy sheets, mattresses, comforters, and blankets made of
natural materials. Organic wool and cotton mattresses are highly recommended to
avoid sleeping on mattresses made of synthetic ingredients including
formaldehyde, biocides, stain protectants, fire retardants, and materials
containing neurotoxins. In general, my experience is that it is hard to find a
wide range of organic natural fiber bedding locally, so instead I tend to buy
these products online or through catalogs. A good resource for finding current
natural bedding companies is Natural Home and Organic Style
magazines.

7. Natural Furnishings

All the same suggestions apply to natural furnishings as they did to bedding in
regards to cushions and fiber-based furnishings. Additionally, look to natural
carpets and carpet backing, wood furniture that has been finished with natural
sealants, and avoid pressed wood furniture because it contains formaldehyde. My
experience is that online and catalog shopping provides the widest selection. A
good resource for recommended products is The
Green Guide
.

8. Natural Renovating and Building Supplies

Every time you renovate, paint, or build, choose the least toxic, most natural,
inert materials. One online store that is an excellent resorce is The Environmental Home Center. Another is NEEDS. A good resource for finding recommended brands
is The Green Guide.

9. Natural Pet Care

My rules of thumb for pet care is to never use synthetic pesticides of any
kind, give them food that doesn’t contain animal byproducts, and to use natural
shampoos.

10. Natural Consumer Choices —General

Always choose the most natural, inert ingredients, and read labels. I’ve found
that even products for teens, such as cosmetics, usually have at least one more
natural version.

Always look to label’s signal words, and don’t buy anything with a label
stronger than the word caution.

 

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