Dry cleaning is known to use harsh chemicals, lots of water, and produce waste in the form of disposable bags and hangers. So what is the industry doing to go green?
The National Cleaners Association recently debuted their Green Cleaning Council, which created a rating system for environmentally friendly dry cleaning businesses. Cleaners can earn ratings of 1 to 5 leaves for taking actions like recycling hangers, using non-toxic or biodegradable cleaning chemicals, and conserving water.
But the traditional environmental impacts of dry cleaning are now being expanded to include energy usage and carbon footprints. From the Green Cleaning Council website, the group notes that “historically, a cleaner’s energy consumption and conservation initiatives have been given little if any attention in the world of environmental awards or promotions. This is true despite the fact it is the business’s most significant area of impact with regard to global warming.”
By implementing the energy efficiency and conservation measures recommended by the Green Cleaning Council, dry cleaners can shrink their carbon footprint and earn a better rating. The Council gives further credit for purchasing carbon offsets that can help balance out emissions from unavoidable daily operations. Making environmental choices as a business can yield not only high ratings, but increased sales from a growing number of eco-minded consumers.