Cleaning Products for a Clean Future

Earth Friendly Products

3. Good Health and Well-Being 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Earth Friendly Products (ECOS) has a vision to create a more clean and sustainable planet through products you can find in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and other areas of your home. We rely on household products to disinfect our home but for too long we have been trusting brands that use harsh chemicals and produce in factories that emit toxins. These chemicals are breathed in by our loved ones and end up in our waterways and soil. Earth Friendly Products is a company that aims to ease your worries about what you are consuming. They create products that are safe for you, your children, your pets, and the planet. As well as manufacturing these products in carbon neutral factories with Zero Waste Guidelines and employees you can trust.

Author

Jillian Connelly

Jillian Connelly

School

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Professor

matt polsky

matt polsky

Innovation

When you think of cleaning products you can think of products like Clorox, Tide, Windex, etc. And while these products do serve their purpose of cleaning and maintaining your home, they use harmful chemicals that forget to protect the people you love and the planet. Cleaning products are almost a necessity to help prevent the spread of bacteria and other harmful contaminants. But as with each ill constructed innovation comes one that changes the way we think about how we consume.

Sustainability is Earth Friendly Products main goal. ECOS creates cleaning products that are made from mostly plants and are biodegradable, pH balanced, grey water and septic safe, and never tested on animals; meaning once they are used by the consumer they will break down naturally and won't infect the soil, water, and other biodiversity it reaches. ECOS currently has five manufacturing facilities that are all operated on renewable energy. 40-50% of their energy needs come from solar panels that are attached to their buildings and the rest is offset by wind turbines. Along with operating in carbon neutral plants and creating biodegradable products, ECOS also follows Zero Waste Guidelines. Their goal is to divert all their waste from landfills. Up to 95% of their packaging has either been reused or recycled.

Cleaning Products for a Clean Future

Inspiration

Van Vlahakis, a US immigrant born in Greece and the founder of ECOS, received his Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and later began working for different cleaning product corporations. After years of being exposed to harsh chemicals from different products he remembered how his mother used to clean with natural ingredients like olive oil and vinegar to remove stains and disinfect their home. After coming to the realization that chemicals should not be the main ingredient in cleaning products; he later founded Earth Friendly Products in the garage of his home in 1967. Ten years later he decided to move to California to open a headquarters to fully launch his business. From then on ECOS has been using clean ingredients in all their products and is family owned and operated!

I interviewed Nadereh Afsharmanesh, The Vice President of Sustainability at ECOS. Her views and experience with the business proves how dedicated ECOS is to their customers and the planet. One question I had asked Afsharmanesh was, “How can you see the ways the values of ECOS has factored into your life?”, and her response was, “The fact that I know I'm making a difference in my little world and the behavioral changes I can see in our team; from disbelievers and people who may not necessarily have sustainability in mind or their first priority. But I see the difference in how we have been able to achieve our sustainability goals; and I receive so much satisfaction from that and I'm pleased to say we have been able to uphold our promises of sustainability.” All it takes for people to notice their unsustainable habits is to view the little changes of others. And I think that's what Afsharmanesh was saying here. She is able to see the changes in people who didn't have sustainability in mind. And when you can change the views of one person, you can change the views of multiple people. ECOS has been able to uphold their sustainability goals and they don't let the opinions and disbelief of others change their business.

Overall impact

Earth Friendly Products overall manufactures their products with sustainability in mind; carbon neutrality, water neutrality, and a Platinum Zero Waste certification all prove how dedicated ECOS is to the planet. They bring products that are safer to use and cheaper to buy to the market because they know families deserve products they can trust. Their employees are empowered and make no less than $17 an hour along with health care, paid leave, and green initiative bonuses because the owner himself had a rocky start and knew his employees deserved more.

Business benefit

With their factories and headquarters being powered using 100% renewable energy, ECOS has been able to create an investment for themselves where they won't have to pay for fossil fuel based energy. They also have been able to create over $150,000 profit over the last few years by minimizing their trash disposal and landfill waste. Small acts like these add up and bring businesses the biggest bang for their buck.

Social and environmental benefit

Earth Friendly Products main goal is benefiting society and the environment. They benefit society by:

  • Creating affordable, eco-friendly products
  • Changing the conceptions society has of eco-friendly products and helping shape better opinions about the environment
  • Empowering employees
  • Consulting other businesses on sustainable alternatives
  • Educating consumers

They benefit the environment by:

  • Creating plant based, biodegradable, pH balanced cleaning products
  • Relying on 100% renewable energy
  • Abiding Zero Waste Guidelines
  • Creating a one step behavioral change for consumers that creates a ripple effect

Interview

Nadereh Afsharmanesh, Vice President of Sustainability and Education

Photo of interviewee

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Earth Friendly Products

Earth Friendly Products

Cypress, California, US

Business Website: ecos.com

Year Founded: 1967

Number of Employees: 201 to 500

Earth Friendly Products is a business that keeps the health and well being of their customers and the planet in mind. They manufacture products that are readily biodegradable, using renewable energy, Zero Waste Guidelines, and never testing on animals. Their employees are empowered through fair wages and health care, and never take for granted the consumer.