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This page delineates the sustainable components of our everyday operations, why different materials and methods were selected, and applicable resources.


Types of cleaners used: We are using only one type of cleaner, Envirox H2Orange Concentrate 117 that is sold to us by APAC Paper. We use it at various strengths, based on the specific area.

We also use microfiber cloths and mop heads for cleaning, also sold to us by APAC Paper.

Why: Envirox H2Orange Concentrate 117 is a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner that is:

  • Biodegradable
  • Low VOC’s
  • Contains no asthmagens
  • Neutral pH

Microfiber towels and mop heads are reuseable and easily washable.

Garbage, recycling and composting

The focus of our waste program is to reduce the amount of waste coming out of the building, whether it be garbage, recycling or compost. Read more about each program:




Kitchen operations

refrigerator: We are using a General Electric Chest Freezer as our refrigerator. By combining our freezer with an aftermarket Micromatic Sensor Thermostat we are able to control the freezer at refrigeration levels (38-45 degrees). This provides for our refrigeration needs at a much greater energy efficiency compared to a traditional refrigerator based on two primary reasons:

  1. The freezer is insulated to a higher level than an traditional refrigerator
  2. The fact that the door opens from the top preserves the more dense, heavier cold air in the freezer as opposed to allowing it to spill out as it does when a traditional swing-door refrigerator is opened.

dishwasher: We selected a Fisher & Paykel Dual Drawer Dishwasher which has an eco option to minimize water and energy usage. The use of 2 drawers allows us to run small loads, saving again on water and energy.

dishes, silverware and glassware: The dishes, silverware and glassware are repurposed from the Brennans' home.

coffee: We're ordering our organic, fair trade coffee from Coffee Express in Plymouth, MI. We have set up a coffee club (see Peggy) for people wanting to participate.

Bathroom and shower operations

toilets: The toilets are Toto CST454CEFG. Saves 20-Percent water over 1.6gpf toilets.

waterless urinal: We bought a Sonora Model # 2004B Waterless Urinal.

sinks: The sinks are Kohler K 2382-0. The marble countertops surrounding the sinks came from the garage of Woody Melcher.

compostable paper towels: The paper towels are 49500/ Recycled Paper C-Fold Hand Towels and come from Michigan Green Safe Products.

shower: Our floor tiles came from Metropolitan Enviroquarry (Q8485 Transition). They have 50% recycled content. Our wall tiles come from Crossville Classic Mosaics (Storm).

Printing and Copying

Scanning, copying and printing is available in the business service area. It is for small printing jobs (e.g. 10 pages or less.)

Green Garage community makes every effort to reduce it's printing. We also:

  • Use blank sides of once used paper. (Always looking for more donations.)
  • Set our printer properties to "Draft" or "Fast" to reduce the amount of ink we use.
  • Use scanning instead of coping.
  • Recycle all paper we use.

If you have larger printing needs, one option is FedEx Kinko's on Woodward at Mack. You can email them you job and then pick it up. Their contact info is:

  • FedEx Kinkos
  • 3670 Woodward Ave Detroit,MI 48201
  • (313) 833-3187

Door mats

source: The Andersen Company

We chose to use entry mats manufactured by the Anderson Mat Company and established a 3 mat system to eliminate as much debris/moisture from foot traffic as possible. The system consists of the following mats:

  1. Outdoor Scraper Mat: Designed to remove large debris such as snow, ice, salt, sand prior to entering the building. For this application we used Anderson Mat Company's Super Scrape.
  2. Indoor Intermediate Mat: Designed to remove smaller debris just inside the buildings enternace. Here we used the Waterhog Eco Elite mat. This mat is constructed with a 100% post consumer recycled P.E.T. polyester fiber system that is reclaimed from plastic bottles and a 100% rubber backing that contains 15% to 20% post consumer car tire rubber.
  3. Indoor Wiper Mat: Designed as a last measure to dry moisture from the bottoms of footwear. We chose the TriGrip mat which, like the Waterhog, contains a backing that is 20% post consumer car tire rubber.