The Vida Verde Women's Co-Operative (Co-Op) was launched in December of 2006 by the Brazilian Women's Group (BWG) with the purpose of organizing Brazilian immigrant house cleaners to combat the occupational and environmental dangers posed by traditional toxic cleaning materials and to alleviate the exploitation of workers. BWG is a volunteer-run community organizing organization, started in 1995 by a group of Brazilian immigrant women of various backgrounds and occupations. The BWG’s Mission is to promote political and cultural awareness, and contribute to the development and self-sufficiency of the Brazilian community, especially women and children.
The Vida Verde Co-Op, currently with 15 members, has become a community asset and a strong voice in raising awareness and training new members on the dangers of using toxic cleaning materials and the need to create alternatives that protect personal health and both the microenvironment of the client's home and the ambient environment. The Co-Op was also formed to address issues of social justice within the membership of the organization. We believe the Co-Op to be an effective public health intervention aimed at the empowerment and support of its members and the broader community that it serves.
The success of the Co-Op is visible by its growing popularity with the Brazilian community as well as with homeowners becoming more aware of how traditional housecleaning products expose them to toxic dangers. To date, the Co-Op has trained over 200 women and men on the use of natural cleaning products. Also the number of homeowners using the Co-Op cleaning services has surpassed 250. They are pleased with the natural products that the housecleaners use as well as the care the taken to keep their homes a safe environment.
The main cleaning products used by the Vida Verde Co-Op were developed by Monica Chianelli, based on the book Clean House, Clean Planet, by Karen Logan. The cleaning products made and employed by the Co-Op members have been rigorously examined by the Toxic Use Reduction Institute for safety and effectiveness when constrasted against traditional cleaning agents. As with other homemade recipes, these have continued to evolve, as co-op members offer feedback and make improvements in the products. The Co-Op main cleaners include Fantastic, an all-purpose cleaner, Amazing, a glass cleaner, Terrific, a furniture polish, Fabulous, a floor cleaner, and Magic, an antiseptic soap. Below is the recipe for Magic, our most popular product.
2 ½ cups of water,
3 teaspoons of Castile soap,
30 drops of tea tree oil
Mix the solution and spay this product on floors, toys, toilets, sinks and bathtubs or in other places that may need cleaning.
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Or contact the Vida verde Women’s Co-Op at
617-787-0557 ext 14 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org