Q&A discussing eco-friendly cleaning services in Scotland with Morag Readman from Bright & Beautiful Domestic Cleaning Services.
How aware are you of the cleaning products you use? It is an often overlooked area of green living and many of us need to reassess the ways we are cleaning and the products we are using.
Nowadays there is a fantastic array of environmentally friendly cleaning products available and no shortage of information explaining why we should be using them over their toxic counterparts. Green cleaning products contain natural ingredients that are better for the environment and better for human health. Most of the conventional household cleaning products are a cocktail of harsh and hazardous synthetic chemicals that come adorned with a skull and crossbones. So, please give some of the eco-friendly cleaning products a whirl.
Better still, you could hire a professional company to take care of the whole shebang for you. Of course, one that offers eco-friendly cleaning services. Bright & Beautiful Domestic Cleaning (est. 2007) is one such company and operates across the whole of the UK, including Scotland. Bright & Beautiful is an award-winning concept in domestic cleaning, providing eco-friendly cleaning services, tidying, laundry and ironing. The Bright & Beautiful motto is “To take care of your home, so you can take care of yourself!” They guarantee the highest standard of cleaning services and security procedures using products formulated from naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients.
Today we are joined by Morag Readman from Bright & Beautiful who has kindly agreed to answer some questions related to her company, eco-friendly cleaning services in Scotland, and eco-friendly cleaning in general. Many thanks to Morag!
Q. So Morag, what services do you offer?
A. We offer professional housekeeping services: domestic cleaning and tidying, laundry and ironing.
Q. In which area of Scotland do you work?
A. My business currently operates in East Lothian but we’re about to expand into Portobello and Joppa.
Q. Are there other Bright and Beautiful representatives available in other parts of Scotland offering the same services?
A. I’m part of a franchise network with more than 50 Bright & Beautiful offices throughout the UK. There are currently 2 other franchises in Scotland covering Dunfermline & North Edinburgh as well as Bishopbriggs and surrounding areas in Glasgow.
Q. Your cleaning products are described as eco-friendly. What constitutes an eco-friendly cleaning product?
A. I just love the way one of our suppliers describes their products: “Formulated with naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, Method cleaners put the hurt on dirt without doing harm to people, creatures or the planet”.
Q. Do your products contain any strange chemicals or are they completely natural?
A. We select products that are non-toxic. We have always been an eco-friendly company because our founder, Rachel Ray, reacted badly to “big brand” cleaning products when she was pregnant. She did some research and was shocked by the findings. The average household now contains over 60 toxic chemicals, many of which have been linked to allergies, asthma, cancer and neurotoxicity. In small doses these toxins may not cause any problems but when they are continuously ingested and inhaled they build up in the body and can trigger reactions. So we use pure products to protect our housekeeping teams, our clients and their homes.
Q. Do your products get things as clean as conventional products?
A. Absolutely! Everything we use has been tried and tested to make sure it gets great results – our clients wouldn’t settle for anything less. With the right cleaning methods, products and equipment, you can definitely clean just as well with eco products as with anything else. And our products smell great too because they have natural ingredients.
Q. What kinds of chemicals are found in conventional cleaning products and do you consider any of them to be “dangerous” to people or to the environment?
A. If you look at the cleaning products in many homes, you’ll see that lots of them are labelled as poisons or hazardous to humans and the environment. These are what we’re spraying near our children, into our respiratory systems and onto our food. We want people to get rid of them and replace them with more natural products.
Q. Are the products you use produced in the UK?
A. Our products come from two main suppliers: Astonish and Method. Astonish is a British, family-owned company based in Yorkshire who have been established for over 40 years. Method is an American company who manufacture in Europe and they are committed to “green” factories and packaging.
Q. Offering eco-friendly cleaning services is one of the main selling points of Bright and Beautiful, but it is not the only one? Do most of your clients get in touch because they are keen to live more sustainably?
A. Our clients are looking for a reliable service to help them take care of their homes, first and foremost. They want to know that we have trustworthy teams, strict security and high standards in housekeeping. However, a large proportion of enquirers do tell me that they contacted us because they liked our ethical approach to doing business which includes offering eco-friendly cleaning services. Many of our enquirers are already using eco products themselves, at least some of the time, and we often notice that our clients become big fans of eco brands once we start working for them.
Q. Would you say that interest and demand in eco-friendly cleaning services has risen in recent years?
A. It’s hard for me to measure, but I do think eco products have become more mainstream as brands like Method and Astonish are more readily available now than they were a few years ago. I think in the past some eco brands may not have been very effective: I know I was not always impressed with some eco products that I used to buy. But times have changed and I’d say to anyone who’s not using eco brands right now: try them. Why would you not want to use a product that is better for your home, your health and your environment?
Q. Do you personally try to live green and, if so, what measures do you take on a daily basis to live an eco-friendly lifestyle?
A. Like most people, I am aware of the issues, I do what I can but I know I could do more. I’ve got 3 kids and we make a real effort to recycle but I’m shocked at how much plastic and packaging passes through our home.
Q. Are there any changes to your lifestyle that you are considering making in order to live even more in tune with nature?
A. My housekeeping teams and I travel around East Lothian all the time so I am trying to find out more about the best cars to drive to reduce our carbon footprint.
Q. In your experience are people are more or less knowledgeable about living greener and healthier in Scotland than, say, 10 years ago?
A. There’s certainly more information available, especially online, but people are so busy that they don’t always have time to do their research and work out what to do. Some of the advice services are well-meaning but can come across as a bit patronising or critical. Most of us are not “eco-Warriors” but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to go make good choices.
Q. In what direction would you like to see things move in relation to everyone living greener and healthier in Scotland?
A. Green cleaning is an easy change that is realistic for most households; other lifestyle changes might need more effort. You’ve got to raise awareness of the issues, provide information and attractive choices for people. If you want to change behaviour, I am a firm believer that incentives, rewards and positive examples are more effective than criticism and penalties.
Thanks again to Morag Readman. If you fancy speaking more with Morag about Bright & Beautiful’s eco-friendly cleaning services or eco-friendly cleaning in general you can visit her website. She would love to hear from you!