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I have a confession. I have a weekly cleaning crew clean my house. I have another confession. They're not green.

Green cleaning companies are relatively common in my area, but they're way more expensive than regular ones. I really needed a cleaning crew's help around my house—it was impossible to keep up with work, husband, kids, cooking, and chores as well as regular cleaning—but I knew it wouldn't be helpful if they used harsh chemicals and rolls and rolls of paper towels. I'd be uncomfortable with a crew like that, but I couldn't afford a specifically eco-friendly service.

So, I made my own green-cleaning team. I found a nice, local company that was willing to work with me on how I wanted my home cleaned. While they were not a green company and already had their preferred products and cleaning methods, they were more than happy to accommodate my requests to clean my home in a more environmentally conscious way. It was very easy to work together to meet my needs while not completely changing the way the crew normally did things. It was a win-win.

How did I green my cleaning company, you ask? In 3 easy ways:

  • I asked them not to use bleach, or bleach-based or scented cleansers
  • I now supply them with white vinegar for cleaning the non-carpeted floors, and Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner for everything else
  • I leave them rags and sponges so they don't need paper towels (they leave the dirties in a bucket and I wash them for use the following week)

And that's it! I took an affordable, traditional cleaning service and tweaked it so it cleaned to my greener specifications.

The moral of the story is that just because a company doesn't bill itself as environmentally conscious doesn't mean you can't make a few adjustments to green it up for your home. All you have to do is ask!

Family Photo Bomb!

RealMom is married to RealDad, a super-buff and handsome red-headed fella, and they have two super-cute and reasonable children, RealGirl (3.5) and RealBoy (1). They were all born and bred in – you guessed it – New Jersey.