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Detoxing services for NYC apartments
Greenproofing is the new babyproofing. More and more, New York moms are hiring green experts to make their homes as eco-friendly as possible before baby arrives. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up some great local services that will test your air, overhaul your cleaning supplies, and ensure you’re conserving energy properly.
Green Consultant Liza Dunn is a lifestyle coach with a lifetime passion for all things green, who works with clients to help lower their environmental impact. Dunn creates custom action plans that might focus on anything from detoxing your home to green party planning to creating an eco-friendly nursery—right down to the renewable paints and organic layette. She started her business in 2007, and finishes her MS in Environmental Management Systems at Pratt School of Architecture in Brooklyn this December. Projects are priced on a case-by-case basis; initial in-home consultation (in Manhattan or Brooklyn) is $300. lizadunn.com; 917.658.7984
GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning takes a careful look at your energy use, water quality, indoor environment, material use and waste management before making recommendations on how you can minimize your family’s carbon footprint. Owner Saudi Davis started the company in 2006, and has since been voted “Best Green Cleaner” by New York magazine. Davis’s grandma was a professional cleaner, and used cleaning chemicals that may have contributed to her cancer, says Saudi, who also does straight-forward green housekeeping, using just vinegar and baking soda. A green consultation is $200, including a report outlining recommendations and the cost of implementing changes. Her recommendations might include water purifying and air filtrations systems, plants, furniture, cleaning products, shaving cream and nail polishes. greenhouseecocleaning.com; 718.303.7029 (services available in Brooklyn and Manhattan)
Veteran air quality inspector Edward Olmsted has been testing the air in New York apartments for nearly 30 years. The tests are varied, and can take a few hours. “We are testing for chemical compounds in the air,” explains Olmsted. “Finishing products, adhesives and glues, floor tiles . . . all give off compounds.” The initial survey is $600 and up; tests sometimes reveal mold, asbestos, lead, mercury, formaldehyde and dust. olmstedenvironmentalservices.com; 845.424.4077
In addition, most utility companies offer home energy audits—in many cases for free. Or, for tips on how to conduct a DIY energy audit, visit energysavers.gov. When it comes to your water, the New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tells us they perform testing on water before it hits your pipes. It does more than 1,200 tests daily, 35,000 monthly and 420,000 on an annual basis, from up to 1,000 sampling locations in NYC. DEP also offers free lead testing.