Beware the “Eco-Friendly” Label + 5 Tips for Finding a Green Business

Beware the Eco-Friendly Label: 5 Tips for Finding a Green Business

Just because something calls themselves “eco-friendly” does not necessarily mean that they are, in fact, eco-friendly. I learned that lesson the hard way this past summer.

We needed to have our house power washed so I researched the different businesses and techniques that were available. I found multiple businesses that labeled their techniques as “eco-friendly.” They claimed that their techniques used considerably less water and did not damage siding or landscaping.

Sounds good to me…

I called four places that advertised eco-friendly power washing and a few that didn’t. One never called me back. Very professional. One called me back a couple of times at my home, but never left a message and never called my cell, which I also provided to them. Also not very professional.

The third business returned my call and I asked them about their techniques and why they were considered eco-friendly. He rattled off information that I had read on their website. I asked them if they used bleach. He said yes, but their technique was such that it evaporated and did not harm your plants. Red flag #1.

I continued to ask about the bleach. He assumed I only wanted to preserve my landscaping, not the environment. His answer to me “I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never had anyone’s plants die.” Red flag #2.

But, I needed this done quickly and he was the only one who could schedule me in the time frame I needed. Probably red flag #3. I scheduled him and continued to call around.

I did talk to one guy who said he uses bleach-based products but could order special baking soda and peroxide-based solvents, but it would take extra time. Definitely using him next time (if I remember where I put the number). I explained to him that I needed this done in a specific time frame and would have to go with someone else this time. He respectfully asked me if I wouldn’t mind sharing who I was using. I told him and he said “He orders from the same supplier as me. He uses bleach.” Not even a red flag, just strait up alarming info.

At this point, I wasn’t even expecting much out of the company I hired. Just a good power wash, not an eco-friendly one. I chalked it up to punishment for not giving myself more time for this project.

But, it was even worse.

The solvents did not evaporate. They laid in a puddle around my house which stunk like bleach for a day. He DID buckle some of our siding with his so-called “soft touch” technique. And, worst of all, the solvents instantly killed the black-eyed Susan that I had propagated from my grandmother. They had just started coming up for the season and the toxic chemicals killed all the leaves. They never bloomed. I hope they’ll come back next year.

I wrote them a nasty letter, but they never responded. I probably should’ve reported them to the Better Business Bureau, but this happened at a very busy time and it just didn’t take priority.

Let this be a lesson to you.

5 Tips When Researching Eco-Friendly Businesses
  1. Do your research.
  2. Give yourself time to do adequate investigation and scheduling for service.
  3. Ask questions. If the person is allusive, it’s probably a bad choice.
  4. Trust your instinct.
  5. Check various websites for green businesses (I found these after my debacle).

I have chosen not to use the name of the company do avoid any defamation accusations. However, if you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and are thinking of using an eco-friendly power washing business, you can email me at thewife (at) thewellnesswife (dot) com and I will gladly give you the business’s name so you can avoid the same situation.

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