Boulder company comes clean on green

0
Charmaine Ortega Getz

When Greg Macchia of Boulder told his wife, Courtney, that he was going to start a cleaning business, she laughed.

As you might guess, Macchia was not noted for his domestic housekeeping.

But
an MBA and a canny eye for business told him he could fulfill his dream
of business ownership by filling a gap in the Colorado service industry.

“It was a running joke with my friends that they couldn’t keep a good house cleaner or find a reliable plumber,”
Macchia says. “Which gave me the idea to have a steady service
business, something not seasonal. No one seemed to specialize in a
cleaning service using eco-friendly products for chemically sensitive
or allergic clients.” So Macchia kicked off Clean Conscience three and
a half years ago, happy that it wasn’t a very “capital-intensive”
start-up. He relied heavily on the Eco-Products line then, and now
mostly uses products manufactured by the PortionPac Chemical Company,
which since 1964 has produced pre-measured, concentrated detergents
formulated for worker safety.

“When
possible, I would recommend buying products in concentrate formulas
that require adding water at home,” he says. “These ready-to-use
products are mostly water, anyway, that they have been shipping around
the country, and when it is empty they recommend that you discard the
spray bottle even though it still works fine.” It also took study and
experimentation to come up with methods that would clean and disinfect
without endangering the environment — or his clients.

“Keep
in mind, though, that in order to kill germs you are going to have to
use a product that kills living organisms,” he says. “So it is
important to use the right product for the right application
in the right amounts. I would also mention that you have to be careful
with thinking that ‘all natural’ translates into something that is
always safe. There are plenty of things that are all natural that I
wouldn’t want to get in my eyes or to have end up in my drinking water.”

Word
of mouth expanded his initial wait list, and today Macchia supervises
six employees and conducts business all over Boulder County.

With
success came a desire to give back. Macchia’s mother and sister are
cancer survivors, which inspired him to become a local chapter member
of the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation.

Started
in 2006, this national nonprofit organization matches women undergoing
cancer treatment with participating local companies such as Clean
Conscience.

“If
you’re undergoing chemo, there’s not a lot of energy for housekeeping,”
says Macchia. “We can offer up to four free cleaning visits per client
for up to four months. We can accommodate as many as four women at a
time, and we’ve only got a couple right now. So, if anyone in Boulder
County interested, I recommend applying through the foundation.”

If
you’re interested in what other eco-friendly cleaning products and
services are available, check out Green Seal, an independent, nonprofit
green consumer organization.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

More information Clean Conscience Cleaning Service www.cleanconscience.net 303-495-2444 Cleaning For A Reason www.cleaningforareason.org Green Seal www.greenseal.org