A GREEN COMPANY GUIDED BY OUR FOUNDER’S PRINCIPLES
OUR CORE VALUES
Everything we do at Better Life Maids is driven by our CORE Values. Our co-founder Angela Ricketts of St. Louis, always dreamed of building an ethical company. While we are primarily a green house cleaning company, we also consider ourselves a green company, trying to make the world a Better place, and providing a Better place to work for our team members.
- We are all leaders.
Even if you don’t have the title of team leader, manager, or CEO to be a leader. Everyone at Better Life Maids is expected to act like and be a leader. Leaders do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Leaders take action. They get things done. And leaders care about people as much as outcomes. We are all leaders, and we are committed to being great.
- How we do the little things, is how we do everything.
Details matter. We care about doing the little things right because when we focus on the details, the big picture always falls into place. One thing that really shows us that you are focussed on the details is how we show up every day. We are in uniform. Our name tag is on, we are in full uniform. We are in the details business and it starts with a name tag.
- Integrity is our lasting legacy.
Integrity means doing what we said we were going to do when we said we were going to do it. It means doing the right things, even when they are hard things to do. Integrity is something that is more valuable than any amount of money but can’t be bought or sold. We either have it or we don’t. We never compromise our integrity at Better Life Maids.
- Create consistently delightful experiences.
Our job is to delight our clients. To go above and beyond the cleaning and make the experience a pleasant surprise each visit.
CORPORATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Fair Labor & Wages
We are committed to providing a fair living wage to our team members. Our starting pay is nearly 40% above Federal minimum wage as of 2016, and on average 25% higher than the industry pay for similar jobs. We are able to pay a higher than average industry wage with a three pronged approach. The first is that we do charge a little more than some of our competitors. We do work very hard to keep our pricing competitive, but if their is one reason our pricing may be slightly higher it is due to the fact that we pass on this to our staff in the form of higher wages. The second part of our our approach is to operate at a lower profit margin than some of our competitors. On average we take about 7% less in corporate earnings and apply this toward higher wages. The third part of our approach is ask our staff to be very efficient and good stewards of the company. We bonus them on quality, and keeping clients for the long run, as this is much more efficient than constantly marketing to new clients. We pass on these efficiencies to our staff wherever possible.
All this said, according to the “Living Wage Calculator” for Saint Louis County (Missori), where we have our headquarters and largest office, a living wage for one adult (in 2016) is $9.94 an hour – no problem. But for a single parent supporting a child a living wage is $20.55 per hour. That sounds about right, but by this standard we do not pay some of our employees a living wage, although we pay competitively (and well above minimum and industry standard). Part of this is a function of the industry we serve and the competitive nature of pricing and can’t be avoided. If we were to pay all of our staff a wage of $20.55 per hour, we would need to charge over $65 per labor hour and that is currently not realistic or competitive at this time. We will continue to strive to improve the overall pay and benefits, and work toward leading our industry toward a true living wage standard.
Safe Cleaning Solutions
Amazing things happen when you take the toxins out of the household cleaners. Better Life was founded with a mission to create household cleaning products which are unmatched in safety and unbeatable in performance. They develop all of their products in-house from the ground up so that they can create the safest and best performing products without compromise.
All Better Life’s Plant Derived Products are:
CRUELTY FREE, MADE IN THE USA, FRAGRANCE FREE, SULFATE FREE AND PETROLEUM FREE
Zero Paper Cleaning & Waste Reduction
We are dedicated to reducing our environmental impact wherever possible. We only have one planet so we want to do our part to take care of it. Our cleaning processes have eliminated the wasteful use of paper products, so trees can rest easy knowing they won’t end up in your trash bag. Microfiber cleaning cloths have many benefits, but most importantly they clean extremely effectively, and last for up to 500 washes. We also use high quality tools and equipment that are durable and last much longer than consumer grade cleaning supplies. In fact most of our tools and equipment are recycled if possible, and very few enter the waste stream. We also are committed to reducing our paper use in the business in general. All of our offices recycle, and we even up cycle our clients plastic grocery bags, by collecting them and using them as dirty supply bags, and then recycling them after another use. Reduce, reuse, recycle. It works.
Water Management & Protection
Most maid services not only produce lots of waste, but waste lots of water. In our house cleaning processes we use much less water due to our use of an innovative self enclosed mopping system that uses only 2 gallons of water for an entire day, and has the added benefit of reducing cross contamination between surfaces, and among homes. It is much more sanitary than the traditional mop and bucket system. Microfiber cleaning cloths also use much less water while cleaning, and while they are being cleaned in the wash. We are also committed to reducing water during the wash process for our supplies. That is why we have adopted ENERGY STAR front loader washing machines. These new washing machines use as little as 12 gallons of water per cycle, versus the average of 45 for traditional top loaders. They also have the added benefit of using much less energy as they need to heat up much less water. and outsource laundry to companies that use commercial laundry systems that are much more efficient and conserve even more water. In fact at this time we outsource over 90% of our laundry to green linen services for this very reason.
And when we clean, the Better Life products rapidly biodegrade into their natural components, and have no harmful impact on our clients homes, or on Mother Earth as they enter back into the waste water stream.
Microfiber For Better Cleaning & Reduced Waste
Microfiber cleaning products are one of the greatest innovations in house cleaning to date. Microfiber is a split fiber that has the ability to trap dust and debris much more effectively than other traditional cleaning products. We use microfiber dusters, cleaning cloths, and specialty mops. With the use of microfiber we have completely eliminated the need for paper products while cleaning. Microfiber cleaning supplies also last for years, so less of our cleaning supplies enter the waste stream. Microfiber is also great at absorbing water, better than even cotton, or paper products. Microfiber can hold many times is weight in water reducing the use of cleaning solutions and water while cleaning. In general microfiber has revolutionized the green house cleaning process, and we have adopted its use in nearly every possible way.
HEPA Vacuums For Better Air Quality
We use only one vacuum in our cleaning services, the Pro-Team Sierra Vacuum, with 4 stage micro-filtration, and a HEPA filter. These vacuums are backpack vacuums with a canister design.The canister is sealed with rubber gaskets that prevent any dust and debris that enters to exit. These vacuums have a tremendous amount of lift and on top of that have a power nozzle to be use on carpet that further helps to extract dust and debris, but can be turned off when vacuuming hard surfaces, to prevent damage, but also prevent the dust and other irritants from being disturbed into the air before it can be vacuumed directly off the surface.
These vacuums are certified Green by the Carpet and Rug Institute under their green label program. They are proven to significantly reduce (By nearly 98%) dust ,dust mites, dander, pollen, and other microscopic airborne irritants. They also use less energy, are quieter, and safer for your floors than other vacuums. Your great home, deserves a BETTER vacuum.
Green cleaning is also about making your home green and safe for your family, while leaving it squeaky clean. Our cleaning process is a system that allows our team members to clean safely, and efficiently, following the same pattern each time, eliminating back tracking, and reducing cross contamination. Some of these systems include color coding of cleaning cloths, a closed loop mop system that only uses clean mops, sanitizing tools after each home, and never using soiled cloths once used.
These are only a few examples. But our system is designed to make your home safer on each visit, and reduce our environmental impact compared to traditional cleaning methods.
Each of our BETTER LIFE MAIDS is trained under our BETTER MAID Certified program. This program teaches them all of the processes that need to be implemented to keep your home green and clean, while eliminating cross contamination between homes. Our training system turns an individual who cleans homes, into a green cleaning professional BETTER LIFE MAID. This standardized training program also helps ensure that our staff no the why of what we are doing, not just the how. We want them to be invested in a green cleaning process.