Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Using safe bleach for cleaning how North Fork B&B is being green

I have had the opportunity to spend some time over this past summer in Keene Valley, NY. Keene Valley is noted for it's beauty as it's situated among the high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains. It is breath takingly beautiful and a place that should be on everyone's bucket list, in my opinion. My time was spent kayaking on Osgood, swimming in Chapel pond and just plain relaxing and visiting at various places in the valley.

Over this past summer my daughter was the educator for the Nature Conservancy's Invasive Plant Program. She did an amazing job as their intern and I learned a lot about invasives and our environment each time I visited.

My first trip was to kayak and it happened to fall on the same day as my daughter's radio interview. On that day I learned that if you don't clean your kayak or boat off before going into another body of water, you could be spreading trouble! Yes, I couldn't believe it. I never knew or even ever thought of such a thing. After using your kayak, canoe or boat, you need to dry it in the sun, take it and wash it at a car wash or wash it at home. Stuff that gets on your boat in one body of water that may have one or more invasive species, can be spread to another place by your boat if you don't clean it off. Honestly, none of this ever occurred to me. It most certainly does now. As I learned more about this, I was alarmed. I kept thinking about places I had kayaked and if my boat went from one place to another uncleaned. I think I'm safe. Lucky for me, I usually go to one place and then there's quite a bit of time before I travel again and my kayak is most certainly, in the sun.

My next memorable experience (which will stand out always) was a swim in chapel pond. With mountain rock faces in both directions, this is a most incredible place! The water was warm enough for me to venture in and I was able to swim over to the beach. It will stand out as one of my most memorable experiences for sure. I had a chance to go back there this past weekend. It was even more beautiful than I had remembered. The water was much colder this time so I waded and took pictures. A wonderful, peaceful and highly recommended place for sure.

Now onto my topic, bleach. There is so much I do not know.... Bleach, as anyone who has ever used it knows, is a tough product to use. It smells really bad and can take your breath away. When used with super hot water, it's caustic. It's bad for the environment. BUT you can use different bleach that is safe. AND....you guessed it, it doesn't smell!! The best part is that cleans really well. My knowledge in this area is very limited at best. I'm not trying to sell a product here either. I am trying to share what I have learned, assuming (and we all know what that means) there are lots of people out there that, like me, don't have a clue about this stuff. So, that being said, the kind of bleach I am currently using is seventh generation. It's free and clear and it's safe for colors. It was really cool to watch too. I usually bleach my sink and dish cloths so I used this to see if it would work. I was so happy not to have that awful smell! You can actually see it working, lifting stuff out and moving around. I have to say I found it pretty amazing. It really made me think.

So, I decided I would blog about it in the hopes that others would learn about this too. As a B&B owner I was glad to know about this too. I will share this with other B&B people so they can hopefully rid themselves of that awful bleach smell and see how well this stuff cleans. This will hopefully also help to spread the word.

I hope I was able to enlighten you a little bit as that's the plan. More educators are needed to help spread the word and teach others what they can do to help stop invasive species and also help our environment. This is just a very small part of what we need to be doing. Please take some time to look for these safe products and others you can use. Try your local health food store to find these kinds of products.