Green cleaning (using non-toxic solutions) is a big deal here at Crow Wing Crest Lodge, and has been since day one of our ownership, over 20 years ago.
When Covid-19 struck in March 2020, like most of us, I felt confused, anxious, afraid (not only for our personal health and for those we knew and loved, but for the viability of our owner-operated business.) In April, here in Minnesota, we were all still on a stay-at-home lock-down, and we were uncertain when, or if, we'd be able to open our resort for the season. The weather was still too inclement to start cleaning cabins and doing outdoor work to take our minds off of the stress. Many a sleepless night was spent wondering if we'd have guests willing to come. What new procedures would we have to implement? How should we process through new cleaning/disinfection protocols for cabins, deal with lodge hours, staff safety? New state ordinances seemed to be posting every few days. It was a lot of information to understand and break down into how it affected our particular business.
I was so very grateful in late April to be asked to be on a panel for a "Non-Toxic Cleaning-for-Covid" Zoom class (coordinated by a statewide non-profit group, the Community of Minnesota Resorts.) The subject matter was near and dear to my heart. (I'd written several green cleaning articles for this same group in a published magazine distributed to all Minnesota resorts. I had also hosted a couple of non-toxic cleaning classes with fellow resorters over the past 20 years.) This new task led me on a research drive for days. It really helped focus my energy - what a blessing!
Despite all the fear and supply depletion of hand sanitizer and common disinfectants, I knew I'd find my own way to operate the resort without reverting to carcinogenic chemicals (e.g. bleach and other harsh, dangerous products.) However, being invited to be a part of a class forced me to really delve into the data. I wanted to relay resources, reliable website links, and scientific study information to others so that THEY could inform themselves about the proper application, dwell times, shelf life, etc. on Covid-approved disinfectants, and why the products worked or didn't. But I learned a heckuva lot for my own edification.
I ended up collecting a list of six non-toxic disinfectants approved by the EPA to work on Coronavirus (list here.) First on the list was Force of Nature, a product I'd already been using in my own household and which I'd occasionally use in cabins (in particular, for getting rid of odors on upholstery and rugs.)
Below is a quick video clip of Big John filming me making a bottle of Force of Nature in our kitchen.
The more I research this product, the more impressed I am. (The Force of Nature website is chock-full of scientific answers, commonly asked questions, links to EPA and CDC lists & research studies, comparison charts to other typical cleaning solutions, etc.)
Last April when attempting to plan for an uncertain resort season, I dared not make unnecessary expenditures. I wanted to make do with what I had on hand if possible. I ended up using non-toxic hydrogen peroxide as our go-to non-toxic disinfectant because I had several gallons of 35% grade stuff in stock, which diluted down into 13 gallons of 3% solution, sufficient enough grade to be EPA effective on Covid. (See blog on hydrogen peroxide - coming soon.) It took 1 - 2 gallons of disinfectant each week to mix into my backpack sprayer, which I used to spray down the insides of cabins between guest occupancy. By the end of resort season, I noticed several whitened stains on certain lampshades and curtains (peroxide is also a bleaching agent, as we know.) I have decided to forego the peroxide this next year (yes, we're still planning for another covid season) and instead have now stockpiled Force of Nature capsules and two more electrolyzers to create the solution each week. We're ready!
I have constant conversations with guests about our green cleaning practices, what products we use, and where we get our supplies. If you wanna try out Force of Nature for your own household use, I would certainly recommend trying it out, or at least learning about it for yourself. Once you get started (starter pack is around $50 if you use a coupon), you'll find the cost is only about $.90 cents a bottle. I really appreciate how it is an effective cleaner, deodorizer, and disinfectant; safe for me, my family, my staff, my guests, and our lakeshore environment. I love the science behind it, the data explained clearly on their website and backed up by the CDC and EPA. Again, the more I learn, the more impressive I find this stuff. Here's a link to check it out for yourself: follow this link.
(For a limited time, until March 31, 2021, they are offering 25% off plus free shipping on Starter Kits & Value Bundles. Just type "MAKEITSAFE" into the coupon code entry. Or google coupons for Force of Nature.)
We invite you to come up and relax by the lake with us, in a cabin freshly cleaned and disinfected with non-toxic, environmentally sound products. Here's to our health!