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The Green Connection to Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 27, 2015

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While Black Friday seems to still get a lot of post-Thanksgiving buzz, it is Small Business Saturday that really gets us excited.  Why?  In addition to GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning being a small business, supporting local businesses is a great way to invest in those places that make our neighborhoods unique, strengthen our local economies and save the planet.

Yes, save the planet.  How?

According to TreeHugger.com, where we shop and how we get there have serious implications.  “The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car, but eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go,” writes Alex Steffan.  Creating more “walkable” cities is one of the “single most potent weapon we have against climate change, rising energy costs and environmental degradation,” suggests Peter Calthrope.

So, this year we encourage you to celebrate Small Business Saturday by visiting some of our favorite little spots in Brooklyn:

Acorn—A Brooklyn Toy Shop
Acorn is committed to offering heirloom quality products that are crafted using environmentally sustainable practices and materials made by artisans who receive a living wage for their work.  In addition, they donate a percentage of sales to both national and international schools and organizations that provide services for children.

 

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store is filled with really unique items—many with great local appeal (we love the “Brooklyn I Love You” tote).  In addition, they often offer suggestions for how to best utilize what you have purchased—from recipes to trip ideas.  “In this way, our customers are not just buying a product but are buying an adventure as well,” writes the site.

 

Bed-Vyne Wine
When you walk into Bed-Vyne, you will immediately be attracted to the rustic appearance of the reclaimed wood under your feet.  This wine (and brew) store is a reflection of its eclectic neighborhood—supporting local artists, musicians and chefs in addition to wine and beer.

 

By Brooklyn
The only store that exclusively sells products made in Brooklyn, you can find everything from tasty treats to comfy apparel.  In addition to being a great place to pick up a local gift, By Brooklyn has become a great community space for local artists to showcase their work—and they offer their space as a private event venue.

 

Holstee
Holstee creates art “that inspires reflection and words that encourage action” with words from their “manifesto” imprinted on a variety of items that resonate with entrepreneurs and start ups.  Not surprising to discover Holstee also offers up their space to freelancers and entrepreneurs with rentable desk space and workshops.

 

Talk to us:  What is your favorite small business in Brooklyn or NYC?

Brooklyn Shopping in Brooklyn Small Business Saturday

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5 Top Office Carpet Cleaning Tips from Our Cleaning Professionals

Office Carpet Cleaning Tips

Office carpet cleaning takes time and effort, but it’s worth keeping the carpeting looking fresh and clean for employees and clients. Determining how and when to maintain your office’s carpets through proper office carpet cleaning plan is the first step. Here are five tips for office carpet cleaning that can help.

1. Choose the right carpet and treat your high-need spaces.

Maintaining your office carpeting is a continuous process. Still, that process is a little easier if your office has a commercial-use carpet handling the heavy foot traffic that comes through. Also, having your office carpet come in neutral colors, such as grey, brown or beige, can help conceal light stains or shoe marks. Having to figure out how to get stains out of white carpets is a problem you can avoid. 

Meanwhile, areas such as bathrooms and kitchens in the office should avoid carpet all together to keep them sanitary. Of course, some high-traffic areas of your office should be cleaned more frequently than others that aren’t as busy. High-traffic regions—such as entranceways, hallways, break rooms if carpeted, watercooler, and copy areas—may require more attention. Stain guarding some of these areas is a great way to protect them from excess dirt and damage. At entryways, you can be proactive in protecting your carpets by using "scraper" mats and absorbent textiles that reduce a significant amount of damaging moisture, dirt, and dust from reaching your carpet.

2. Vacuum On a Regular Schedule.

There is perhaps no more important step to keeping your office’s carpets clean than maintaining a regular vacuuming schedule. Not only is it a critical step in refreshing the look of your carpet each day and extending its lifespan over the years, but it also protects the air quality of your office for workers by removing dirt, dust, and allergens that can build up quickly. It’s essential to ensure your maintenance team is scheduled to vacuum each day. Typically, a regular maintenance plan can even be customized to include vacuuming daily for high-traffic areas and two or three times a week for moderate traffic areas.

3. If There’s a Spill, Act On It

Unfortunately, accidents happen. Your cleaning professionals are the surest way to remove stains from carpets in your office, and the best way to avoid permanent carpet stains is to have your cleaners treat and remove any spots as soon as they can. In the meantime, make sure that carpet cleaning supplies are easily accessible in common areas for employees.

4. Surface Clean Regularly, But Add Deep Office Carpet Cleanings As Well

While daily vacuuming and surface cleaning is a must for keeping office carpets sanitary and great looking, your office carpets will sometimes benefit from deep cleanings that helps eliminate dirt, grime, or dust mites trapped below the surface. Carpet deep cleaning is recommended about once a month for high traffic areas and seasonally throughout the office.

5. Avoid Chemicals in Your Carpet Cleaning.

While cleaning or removing stains from carpet, many carpet cleaning solutions on the market include harsh chemicals, which can remain in traces in the carpet, possibly attracting dirt over time while diminishing air quality. Fortunately, cleaning companies can work with the many eco-friendly, non-toxic solutions available for cleaning your office carpets. Regardless, your cleaning professionals should know the proper methods for removing these traces after carpet cleaning.

If you want to learn more tips for office carpet cleaning and how to get stains out of carpet, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

What Cleans Viruses on Surfaces?

While it’s great to frequently clean our living areas with something as simple as soap and water, the current pandemic has reinforced the need to regularly disinfect these spaces to eradicate viruses. It’s important to keep up a balanced schedule of hygiene cleaning, or removing visible traces of dirt, and disinfecting, using harder-hitting cleaners that are proven and recommended by experts to kill viruses around your living space. A healthy schedule includes cleaning once a week, and disinfecting high-touch surface areas you frequent every day.

Even though SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen that causes the new coronavirus disease) is known to spread mainly through respiratory droplets from person-to-person, the Center for Disease Control says that COVID-19 can also be picked up by touching a surface contaminated with the virus, transmitted when your hands then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces anywhere from hours to days depending on factors such as surface type and temperature.

Fortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a list of nearly 400 products that they’ve approved for combating emerging pathogens, including the new coronavirus. Featured on the list are household cleaners such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide and items common on the grocery store shelves, such as Clorox disinfecting wipes (containing chlorides and isopropyl alcohol) or Lysol disinfectant spray.

And if you're looking for a more environmentally-friendly product that is effective in cleaning viruses, the good news is that EPA has included a few all-natural products containing the ingredient thymol. Thymol is naturally antimicrobial botanical, made of oil of various herbs including basil and thyme. CleanWell’s thymol product featured on the EPA’s list is alcohol-free, non-toxic, and safe for food surfaces.

If these disinfectant options are unavailable to you at the moment, another virus cleaning option that you may already have at home are alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol. You may have them in stock for use as an antiseptic. In fact, the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol are usually recommended to disinfect touch screens and other high-touch electronics.

For more on what kills viruses on surfaces, and other cleaning and hygiene tips, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today. 

How Long Does The Coronavirus Live On Surfaces?

In late 2019, SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the illness known as COVID-19 — began spreading person-to-person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced as someone with the virus talks, coughs, or sneezes in proximity to others. 

While it is less common, touching surfaces with traces of the virus is also known as another means for transmission, and there is published research into how long the SARS-CoV-2 lasts on different surfaces. However, how long SARS-CoV-2 remains infectious on these surfaces is still unknown.

So far, two major studies have been published testing how long SARS-CoV-2 stays on surfaces:

Since March, health officials have stressed regular cleaning and disinfection of all kinds of surfaces that we touch routinely to fight the spreadCOVID-19 and regularly cleaning one's hands. With that in mind, we'll summarize how long coronavirus can live on surfaces based on these studies' findings.

How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?

  • Plastic (3-7 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Food packaging, water bottles, and milk containers, credit cards, remote controls, light switches, computer keyboards and mouses, ATM buttons.
    • The NEJM study detected the virus on plastic for up to 3 days while the Lancet detected the virus on plastic for up to 7 days.
  • Stainless Steel (3-7 days)
    • Common Surfaces: door handles, refrigerators, handrails, keys, cutlery, pots and pans, industrial equipment.
    • While the NEJM article found that the virus could remain on stainless steel after three days, researchers for the Lancet article detected it for up to 7 days.
  • Copper (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Coins, cookware, jewelry, electrical wires.
  • Paper (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Paper, money, stationery, magazines and newspapers, tissues, towels, toilet paper.
    • The Lancet study found that the virus could last three days on printed paper, while on other paper types such as money, it could last four days.
  • Glass (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Windows, mirrors, drinkware, screens for TVs, computers, and phones.
  • Cardboard (Up to 24 hrs)
    • Common Surfaces: Food packaging, shipping boxes.

With the information of how long the coronavirus lasts on various surfaces from these studies, it is a good idea for homes and businesses to appropriately clean and disinfect high-touch surface areas, such as kitchen or break room counters, fridges, and sinks, dining tables, doorknobs and workspaces on a set schedule. 

If you're looking for more information and tips on the most effective ways to keep your surfaces clean, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

Office COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Safe

Once we are able to safely return to work, we'll need to consider how we regularly clean our offices and workplace facilities in ways we may not have thought of before the coronavirus (COVID-19) upended our everyday work and life routines. While anxiety about returning and sharing workspaces with co-workers is certainly understandable, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested several important strategies for space-hygiene that we can adopt to promote safe, clean offices.

Along with observing social distancing, encouraging face coverings and practicing proper hygiene (regular hand washing) as part of following the CDC guidelines, this office cleaning checklist will help you update cleaning practices for your everyday work routine and a healthy work environment.

Get the Right Cleaning Tools

There are several important cleaning tools every office should have depending on different situations, such as routine cleaning, deep cleaning, or disinfection. The CDC suggests often using green cleaners and soap and water solutions for routine cleaning of surfaces, while stronger disinfectants can be used more for eradicating viruses or bacteria, particularly in spaces where a co-worker has shown signs of illness for instance. Here are a few items to mark on your checklist:

  •  PPE — maintain stocks of face masks, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions for all employees and staff onsite.
  •  Paper towels
  •  Green/chemical-free cleaning spray
  •  Disinfectants such as wipes, spray, or bleach solution — verify disinfectants are on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
  • Trash bags
  • For disinfection, stock appropriately-rated respirator masks and protective gowns

Office Cleaning Procedures

Along with updated cleaning routines, various public health organizations have suggested a few other strategies for keeping employees safe in addition to a modified cleaning routine. Some of these suggestions include:

  • Consider staggering work shift schedules where employees rotate (A/B shifts) coming into the office. This will not only limit contact and possible spread of illness but accommodate cleaning schedules and limited workstations.
  • Keep necessary cleaning supplies stocked, labeled and accessible in high-traffic areas, such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and paper towels etc.
  • Encourage employees to use the office’s cleaning supplies to wipe down surfaces in their personal workstation.
  • Provide a channel for employees to suggest improvements in space-hygiene as well as request cleaning supplies and services.
  • Consider touchless office upgrades that reduce contact at high-touch areas such as technology for touchless access into the office, as well as motion-sensing lights, towel dispensers, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers.

Recommended Office Cleaning Schedules

While every office is different and will have different cleaning needs, there are a few things to consider when it comes to cleaning routines. According to the CDC, “at least daily, clean and disinfect all surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people.” Such high-touch areas include: 

  • High-touch surface areas typically include: 
  • Door handles
  • Desks
  • Breakroom appliances
  • Light switches
  • Bathroom Fixtures such as faucets and toilets 
  • Workstations and workstation electronics
  • Keyboards 
  • Telephones
  • Handrails
  • Printer/copiers
  • Drinking fountains

There are times your office may need to escalate its cleaning schedule and regiment during the year in terms of disinfecting surface areas and deep cleaning in the office (upholstery, window treatments, and carpets). That could include:  

  • Should a significant outbreak of transmissible illness/rise in COVID-19 cases occur in your region 
  • After any relatively large office meetings
  • During peak flu season in late fall/winter
  • Should an employee report they have a transmissible illness

Finally, any business should identify a professional cleaning company that can meet the demands of your business's cleaning needs to ensure you maintain a safe and sanitary workplace every day. They should be able to provide deep cleaning of your office spaces before your business’s re-opening and be able to continue ongoing decontamination cleaning as needed, as well as thorough routine office cleaning each day.

For more tips and details on recommended office cleaning schedules for COVID-19, or to schedule a consultation with our specialists, contact Greenhouse today.

As an essential business, Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning is continuing to serve our customers during the COVID-19 emergency. Learn about the steps we’ve taken to protect our customers and employees and our Coronavirus Cleaning and Disinfection Services that can provide extra peace of mind during these challenging times.