With carbon emissions being at an all time high, single use plastics reaching record levels, and the environment being at the forefront of everyone’s minds, here at spring clean homes have made a pledge to to our bit to help the environment and raise awareness leading to a brighter, safer, and better future for our children, and children’s children. Here is a list of the changes we have pledged to during our running of our business both in front, and behind the scenes
We have made the decision to stop giving out overshoes to our clients when we finish a carpet clean. These are single use, so was a fair bit of plastic needing 100s of years to break down in the environment? We could quite comfortably be reducing the amount of single use plastic by 3000 overshoes a year here. That’s a whole load of plastic saved from the environment.
We are making a real effort to cut down on our carbon emmisions by reducing the amount of travelling we do. Firstly, we have stopped travelling to 95% of on-site quotations, which has actually resulted in more value for money too for our customers as they are typically paying less for our services. We are also grouping our jobs together more efficiently in terms of location. This can sometimes mean a slightly longer lead time, but usually only by a couple of days. We believe we are worth the wait 😁
To reduce the amount of delivery miles it takes to get products, wherever possible, we buy from our local suppliers (the chaps down at Total Supplies are a great team to deal with too)
Buying UK products
There are some amazing carpet cleaning products made here in the UK, so wherever possible, we purchase these too.
Buying in bulk
Where we can not buy local, we are cutting down on our deliveries by buying in bulk too. Further reducing our carbon footprint
An eco friendly carpet cleaning spray
There is never one size fits all when it comes to cleaning products. Soiling levels, types, individual spots and stains, carpet types and constructions, and balancing pH levels with any product already present deep down in the pile. Due to this, we are unable to simply replace all our products and just use one. We have however, introduced a new woolsafe eco friendly product cleaner prespray that we try to use as the first instance.
For every job over £100 plus vat, we now leave a bottle of 500ml eco friendly carpet cleaner liquid. This not only reduces the amount of travelling we may do for a small stain job, but is so safe and non toxic so reduces the chance of a bleaching agent or harmful chemical being introduced into the carpet
Paperless bank accounts
We have recently contacted our business and requested that monthly postal statements stop. This has now been replaced with online statements so reducing carbon emmisions
Instead of printing out receipts every month to give to our bookkeeper, we have converted to an online app where we email email receipts to the online accounts reducing the need to print them out. A4 Paper receipts that we receive are reused as scrap paper. This also have cut down on driving to the accountant a few times a month.
Phasing out 12 month postal reminders
Since we started in 2012, we have been sending out yearly reminders to customers for their annual carpet clean. We could quite easily send between 500-800 pieces of post each month. We have now replaced these with email or sms reminders. This also reduced the amount of ink cartridges that we are using
The booking system that we use has the feature of using email and sms for all correspondence, so we have taken full advantage of this. Quotes & invoices are now sent digitally. This also improves our service as this means our clients receive these much quicker. A further saving of our paper useage
More water efficient
We are more conscious of the amount of water we use for our hot water extraction cleans. We are now filling up by a bucket at a time, and not having buckets of water ready just in case we need them as these can sometimes lead to unnecessary waste
We are trying to produce the best, most professional service possible and clean, tidy uniform is a vital part of this. We noticed that our white and green uniforms were starting to look a little tired, tatty and dirty especially when undertaking outdoor work, so we have phased these out. We are now using black uniforms which are much tidier, and last much longer. We use the old uniforms for our non public facing work such as machinery maintenance, cleaning the equipment and even when washing the vans.
Some of our equipment requires regular charging, so we have purchased an external battery pack that is charged automatically when our vans are going from job to job. This means we are always fully charged and ready for each job, but also that we’ve saved a little electricity also
Sometimes when we make a purchase, our suppliers give us the option to email our receipt as opposed to printing out a paper one. We take advantage of this
To reduce our number of trips to the bank, we are encouraging our clients to pay by card. We have a few clients who still like to pay by cheque, and technological advances mean we are able to use an app to upload these into our bank account, less driving to lloyds!
Solar charging our work phones
For smaller items such as phones, we are using solar chargers that we Carry in our van
Where possible, we have reduced our cleaning water temperature to 60 degrees. We have also reduced the pressure on the machinery to no more than 300psi (varies from job to job)
In 2020, we realised that we were making unnecessary trips to our office in Ramsgate, meaning more travelling emissions, but also electric, lighting and heating. We now use a laptop for the day to day running of this business, an added benefit of this is that we charge from our external battery pack. Wherever possible, we put the laptop into sleep mode, and overnight, we turn it off
To encourage awareness of the environment and climate in our business, we now listen to earth911 podcast weekly. This is a contestant reminder of the importance of what we are trying to achieve, as well as giving us more useful tips and to further tweaks and changes we are able to make in our business
As the owners of the business, myself (neil) and my wife Helen have reduced our meat consumption for us and our children and regularly use quorn or vegetables as a substitute. Less trees being cut down for grazing space
To save on plastic from bottled water, we encourage all staff to drink filtered water from a reuseable water bottle and not buy bottled.
Don’t print emails
A gentle reminder on the bottom of our emails to not print out if it’s not necessary
We are making much more of an effort when it comes to recycling on a day to day basis