Green Spring Cleaning

Green Depot

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I take great pride in punctuality but when it comes to the yearly ritual of spring cleaning, I always manage to postpone things until the last possible moment. The procrastination can be blamed squarely on my knowing that with every vernal purge, I poison plants and fish in the New York harbor. I put up with grossly clogged drains for weeks just to avoid using Drano and ignore the vile mildew accumulating in my shower in order to skirt the use of bleach. The deferment can only last so long and, by mid-May, out come the chemicals. This year, however, the delay has paid off. I’ve allowed myself enough time to stumble upon the mecca of green home cleaning: Green Depot. What follows is a brief visual tour of this joyful and guilt-lifting discovery.

Green Depot is located in the lower east side at 222 Bowery, a beautiful old building (history at bottom of post) whose interiors have been renovated to meet LEED standards.

Upon entering the store, the visitor is greeted by a looming wall of cleansers (see image at top of post). There are bottles of glass sprays, tub and tile detergents, all-purpose cleaners and more. Not only does Green Depot produce this wide range of soaps locally, but they encourage customers to only ever buy one plastic bottle by running a refill station that has me wondering about the jokes that are played at the company Christmas party.

Each item in the store is accompanied by a “green filter” explanatory code. With this tool, the “greenwashed” pretender products have been weeded out from the “truly green” goods.

In addition to a wide range of locally produced (and pricey) paints, Green Depot offers a huge selection of lighbulbs. I took advantage of their bulb-testing booth (above) to finally pick out a CFL that didn’t make everyone who passed through my living-room look like death. You know that bluish-green tint that is cast by some flourescent bulbs?

They also have an extensive recycling and waste section. The reddish contraption (above left) is a worm composter and the sleek, oven-looking device (above right) is the mother of all recycling bins. Complementing the various receptacles is a range of fully compostable waste bags; even little ones for dog poop! The lady who helped me work my way through the store agreed that the company should offer different size doggie bags since Walter (my dog, see below) can almost fit his entire body into the current size.

Along with the staple green items, the Depot offers countless novelty items. There are stuffed monkeys made from old sweaters and “recycled roses” made from dress pattern paper which are sure to make any romantic reciever smile:

If you tire of perusing the endless array of green products, distraction can be found on a steel supporting column at the center of the store that tells the colorful story (which will conclude this post) of the 222 Bowery.

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