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Jon Knutson, Published September 06 2009

Getting clean while going green

Bethany Grahn likes cleaning, helping people and protecting the environment.

She’s combined her three interests in Clean & Green Residential Cleaning Service, a Fargo business that cleans homes with environmentally friendly products.

“I’m doing something I really believe in,” she said.

Grahn lost her job this spring as a consultant with the nonprofit Denver-based Get Nitrogen Institute that educates truckers and others about the benefits of using nitrogen in tires.

Her old job also would be considered by many to be part of the green economy.

She searched without success for a new job before deciding to open her own environmentally friendly cleaning business.

“I’ve always had a real interest in protecting the environment,” she said.

Besides using environmentally friendly cleaning agents, Grahn uses cleaning products that are washable and reusable instead of, say, disposable paper towels.

Grahn said being green has helped her land some customers.

She charges $20 per hour, which is competitive with rates charged by cleaners who don’t use green products, she said.

She does spring cleaning and cleaning in preparation for parties in addition to her regular cleaning.

Eventually, she said, she might be able to expand the business to where she hires and manages other cleaners rather than doing all the cleaning herself.

But even if the business grows, she wants to remain hands-on and continue to clean her own accounts.

“I just really believe in what I’m doing, and not everyone can say that,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530