|Mark Callaghan of Blue Sky Cleaners in Seattle.|
Blue Sky Cleaners
Blue Sky Cleaners takes a surprisingly green approach to dry cleaning. Currently, laws are being passed nationwide to ban the toxic chemicals and solvents used in traditional dry cleaning due to their impact on the environment. Blue Sky exceeds the minimum requirements of these laws by cleaning garments with carbon dioxide.
The CO2 is collected from factories and pressurized into a liquid, which the company says has unparalleled cleaning capabilities. Blue Sky is the largest CO2 cleaner in the nation and the only one in Seattle, with six locations, plus expansion plans in California.
The company’s detergent is specially formulated to have a pH level of 6.7 to 7 to ensure it does not affect the natural acidity of water runoff. Blue Sky also uses biodegradable return bags that are partially made of cornstarch. The result is a business that produces zero waste and is also a healthy environment for its employees.
Foss Maritime Co.
In 2008, tug and barge service Foss Maritime Co. built the world’s first hybrid tugboat, reducing carbon emissions by 1,340 tons and saving 120,700 gallons of diesel fuel. The company plans to retrofit another boat to hybrid in 2011, and is converting its entire fleet to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which will result in the reduction of 29 tons of sulfur oxide emissions per year.
Clear Air Lawn Care
Using electric and biodiesel lawn care equipment, landscaping company Clean Air Lawn Care is having a positive impact. In 2009, the company avoided 28,081 pounds of air pollution. It is committed to going green throughout the company. Trucks are outfitted with solar panels, and every mile driven and kilowatt of electricity used are balanced by carbon offsets.
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