Greening The Cleaning

Gilda's Red Door Goes Green, Deirdre Imus Praises Comprehensive "Greening" of North Jersey Clubhouse for Cancer Patients


Pictured from left are: Leo Weiss, CEO, WFM Construction Co.; Suzen Heeley, Director of Design and Construction at Hackensack University Medical Center; Hackensack Mayor Marlin Townes; City Manager Steve Iaccone; Gilda's Club Board President Ruth Dugan; Deirdre Imus; Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®; Lenore Guido, Gilda's Club Executive Director; and Designer Barbara Ostrom. 

HACKENSACK, NJ, October 2, 2009 -- Children's health advocate Deirdre Imus praised Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey for its floor-to-ceiling "green" renovation at a "green" ribbon-cutting ceremony at 575 Main St. in Hackensack, NJ, Thursday, September 24th. 

"We congratulate Gilda's Club for stepping into the process with us and embarking on a healthier future for our children.  This is an important first step toward prevention and wellness," Ms.  Imus said.  Deirdre Imus is the Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. 
Over 250 people attended the event at the club which serves as a social and emotional support group for about 800 cancer patients and their families and friends. Free of charge and non-profit, Gilda’s Club offers networking groups, lectures and workshops, and social events in a comfortable, home-like setting.

Lenore Guido, a trained holistic health counselor and chief executive officer of the club, said the Environmental Center provided valuable guidance on "Green Building" materials and green practices for the renovation.  That included implementation of the center's Greening The Cleaning® program.  Greening The Cleaning® means eliminating to the greatest extent possible, all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with naturally-derived ingredients with the least level of toxicity.
"When working to improve the emotional health of our members, we can't leave out the physical environment. Going green made sense because we're all about the health of our members and this would help their spirits lift," Guido said.  

Ms. Imus said that the Environmental Center, as part of its mission, wants to educate the community, customers, the public and legislators about ways to minimize and eliminate toxins in our environment. "Greening The Cleaning® is just a starting point. We want organizations to think about the bigger picture of 'Building Green' and how to implement it in practical ways."

Building Green Concept

The concept of "Building Green" encompasses energy efficiency, materials and furnishing, indoor air quality, waste minimization and disposal.  Together, Greening The Cleaning® and "Building Green" create a better indoor environment, Ms. Imus said.  "Many people battling cancer often undergo chemotherapy and radiation which impacts the immune system and makes the body vulnerable to environmental toxins. Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, personal care and cleaning products, release pollutants more or less continuously."                                 
"Studies continue to show the potential negative health effects of poor indoor air quality. That’s why it’s so important, especially for those with cancer and compromised immune systems, to be aware of all the potential exposures to chemicals, especially indoors," she said.  [Learn more on the Environmental Center's website,]. "The challenge is that these products are not very well regulated.  Consumers don't always know what they're buying because manufacturers aren't always required to tell you."    

More than 20 suppliers, contractors and vendors contributed to the project, with many donating or discounting materials and labor.  In addition to the adoption of non-toxic Greening The Cleaning® products, the Club is now a "green" showcase with a range of eco-friendly features: 


·         New carpet and ceiling tiles made from recycled materials
·         98% efficient HVAC system/air cleaning system
·         Cabinets made from fast-growing bamboo
·         Benjamin Moore paints with no volatile organic compounds
·         Furniture made following green standards
·         New phone system with phones made following green standards
·         New lighting using 12-watt LED bulbs that last for 50,000 hours
·         New energy efficient appliances

Gilda's Club is named in honor of "Saturday Night Live" comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.  Gilda dreamed that all people affected by cancer, as well as their families and friends, would have access to the same kind of emotional and social support that she received during her illness.  The Gilda's Club Affiliate Network currently serves more than 50,000 members in 22 cities, with 28 clubhouses and satellites across North America, and 6 additional locations in development.
In November, Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) was awarded the 2008 Environmental Quality Award for Excellence by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) for greening the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion. The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® was instrumental in the "green building" achievement.

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Media Contacts:

Bonnie Eskenazi
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®



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