In the Bag is the Greenest, Cleanest
Store in Town
The business of dry cleaning has not always been considered environmentally-friendly. However, Dave Coyle has been researching and implementing green practices since he's owned In the Bag Cleaners.
Coyle has worked in dry cleaning for years, purchasing his first store in 2000. His interest and ability grew and by 2008 he had purchased Wichita's Best Cleaners stores. In 2010 he acquired Royal Cleaners and since then he manages In the Bag (ITB) retail stores in Wichita, Andover, Newton and Derby.
Many recognize In the Bag for its famous purple - or blue - bag. The company offers pickup and delivery service in 4,000 homes and offices around the Wichita metro. Though this service offers complete convenience for ITB customers, Coyle says the "bag" makes up only ten-percent of his business.
"We do promote it from a green perspective," he says.
"Using our bag
eople are saving gas by eliminating one errand. For us, wemap our pickup routes as greenly as possible to save on fuel costs and emissions."
Inside both of In the Bag's 10,000 square-foot warehouses, Coyle uses a petroleum-based solvent, which is a green alternative to perchloreythene - a hazardous chemical used by more than 80-percent of dry cleaners. His five machines push out 400 pieces of clothing each hour without harmful carcinogens. Coyle says this change in chemicals was "the right thing to do." --
Volume V, Issue 1
Green Trick or Treating is Sweeter than Candy
Though the season is for orange and black, families can think green when they trick or treat on October 31. Use these tips to ensure an environmentally-friendly experience.
Go With Reusable or Recylcable Bags
Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns so many kids use to collect candy at Halloween.
Americans use more than 380 million plastic bags and more than 10 million paper bags every year. Plastic bags end up as litter, kill thousands of marine mammals annually and break down slowly into small particles that continue to pollute soil and water. During production, plastic bags require millions of gallons of fossil fuels that could be used for fuel and heating; paper bag production consumes more than 14 million trees annually in the U.S.
Make Do-It-Yourself Costumes
Instead of buying a Halloween costume that you or your children will wear once and throw away, make your own costumes from old clothes and other items you already have around the house. You can get inexpensive Halloween costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales or your children may have fun trading Halloween costumes with their friends to get something "new" and different to wear.
By designing and making your own Halloween costumes, you and your children can masquerade as anything you can imagine. A
fter Halloween, you can wash and store your homemade costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends or donate clothing from which it was made to day care centers, homeless shelters or charitable organizations.
Give Eco-Friendly Treats
When the ghouls show up at your door this Halloween, give them treats that also treat the environment gently.
There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy from organic chocolate to lollipops available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores or consumer cooperatives. These organic candies can satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health and they are produced using methods that don't damage the environment.
Choose treats that use little or no packaging. Whenever possible, buy locally-produced treats from local merchants. Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give trick-or-treaters useful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, erasers, dimes or quarters.
Walk Instead of Driving
Rather than drive to other neighborhoods to take the kids trick-or-treating, stick close to home this Halloween and walk from house to house. This reduces fuel consumption and air pollution. If you are attending a Halloween party, use
or ride your bicycle. If traveling by car is really the only way to join in Halloween fun, try carpooling with friends or family.
Make Your Halloween Party Eco-Friendly
Host a Halloween party that features locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples and food
appropriate to the holiday and the harvest season. Once the jack-o-lanterns have been carved and the games have ended, the apples and pumpkins can be used in pies, soups or other dishes. You can also roast the pumpkin seeds and serve them to your guests as a special Halloween treat. Use dishes, cutlery, napkins and tablecloths that can be washed and reused instead of disposable plastic and paper tableware.
Use recycled and recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts, for example, and can be taken down, laundered and returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over.
Reuse and Recycle
If you don't already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps and other biodegradable yard and household waste.
Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year's jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.
If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.
Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah
Keep Halloween Clean
Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in reusable bags until they return home or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.