Greener-than-Green Cleaning Solutions
By Anselm Doering
CEO, EcoLogic Solutions
Has this ever happened to you: You walk into a restaurant, eager to sample the menu, only to get hit with a strong waft of cleaning chemicals? Or you take a sip of a drink and can taste detergent on the glass? Check, please.
Nasty, toxic cleaning chemicals aren’t just a nuisance for customers – they can also be a health hazard for restaurant workers. Imagine having to handle poisons every day or being forced to breathe the toxic cloud that can spew from dishwashers and fill the whole kitchen.
Ten years ago, I walked into a highway rest stop restroom and saw a poster that bragged, “Proud to be Cleaned by Lysol.”
“Why would anyone brag about using a known poison?” I wondered. More and more households were using eco-friendly products to clean. Why weren’t commercial users doing the same? There had to be a better way.
That night I drew up plans to start a company that would manufacture and distribute environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and technologies to restaurants, offices, schools and other institutional users. I vowed this company would offer the most sustainable products on the planet – products that worked better than their toxic counterparts yet were safe, cost effective, and easy on Mother Earth. I called the business EcoLogic Solutions (www.ecologicsolutions.com).
From the beginning, sustainably-minded chefs and restaurants – ranging from corner cafes to five-star kitchens to national chains like Chipotle – embraced our products. They believed that sustainability should extend beyond the plate to all aspects of restaurant operations. They wanted to create healthy environments for their customers and their employees.
Green Sage Cafe is a perfect example of a restaurant operation that doesn’t just talk about sustainability – they back it up with actions, including steps that aren’t always visible to the customer.
For example, the new dish machine in their Westgate location captures and reheats moisture from the machine, then super-heats it to 180F to use as the final rinse water. This saves on water and keeps the kitchen cooler. And while diners won’t see it, Green Sage Cafe has also invested in other new kitchen equipment that cuts back on chemical usage while saving on both energy and water.
We’re thrilled they employ our greener-than-green product line to clean and sanitize everything from surfaces to windows to pots and pans. They also use our foaming hand soap, which uses 75% less product than traditional alternatives, and our grill-cleaning brick, which is made out of recycled glass.
Another cool product they utilize is our bio-based floor cleaner, an enzymatic formula that can be left on floors, thus eliminating the need to rinse with large amounts of water. Our floor cleaner also creates a healthy bacteria colony in the drain fields, which reduces waste odors naturally instead of using harsh chemicals and reduces grease from traps that would otherwise need to be processed at water treatment facilities.
Look, cleaning chemicals don’t get a lot of headlines or attention. It’s easy for restaurants to use cheap, toxic cleaners and hope customers don’t notice and employees don’t get sick.
But that’s not where I want to eat. That’s not where I want to take my family.
When I walk into a restaurant, the last thing I want to smell is some pungent, toxic cleaner.
I want to smell things like Green Sage Cafe’s fresh roasted coffee… or their breakfast burritos… or their wild salmon cakes. Now I’m really hungry.
Anselm Doering is the founder and CEO of EcoLogic Solutions (www.ecologicsolutions.com), a proud B Corporation that manufactures and distributes environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and technologies for restaurants, offices, schools, and other commercial users. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org