Thursday, January 17, 2008
Go Green Clean!
The Optimist is always looking for ways to do his little part to save the environment. He called ConEd and switched over to green energy (you should too!). Last year, he dusted off his bike and started riding for the first time since his teens. And this holiday season, he tried to give eco-friendly gifts to anyone he thought would appreciate them.
So, The Optimist was excited when he discovered Green Clean Cleaners on Nassau Ave. down the street from his new apartment in Greenpoint. Green Clean is a dry cleaning and laundry store that uses exclusively all-natural, organic products. The family-owned business, operated by Helen Gold and her son Toni Haddad, has been in Brooklyn for 32 years, but they only switched over to green two years ago when they bought the building that houses their current location.
The reason for the change was simple. As Helen explained to me, the synthetic cleaning products were "killing us", and she and her family just couldn't endure the physical harm of using them any more. Her son, Toni, even claims to have developed asthma as a result of the chemicals to which he was constantly exposed.
But for the Haddad family, the idea of going green has grown far beyond just concerns for their health and that of their clients. When they decided to become eco-friendly, they decided to go all the way. They opted for recycled hangars and plastic wraps for the dry-cleaned clothes. They even went so far as to build the interior of the store from reclaimed items and did the same in renovating the apartments they now rent out upstairs from Green Clean.
And the family's work isn't done yet. They are in the process of figuring out how they can install solar-powered panels to the roof of their location, so they can run the entire building on clean, renewable energy. Hopefully, they'll inspire their neighbors to do the same.
The Optimist is pleased to support an environmentally-conscious business like Green Clean. If you know of other like-minded businesses in the borough, please email me so I can champion them as a customer and as a consumer advocate.
Green Clean Cleaners is located at 155 Nassau Ave. between Newell and Diamond Streets. They offer pick-up and drop-off service, as well as tailoring. To reach them, call (718) 349-1358.