Taking Action #2: Cleaner Cleaning

I am an ecstatic devotee of dry-cleaning. There is nothing I love more than a crisp, fresh-pressed silk ascot, clean as a whistle and willing to play second fiddle to my fantastic facial hair. Ladies swoon at the sight of my stark white beard, sharp and angular, protruding out over the luscious burgundy fold of my ascot. Ah, but I must restrain my descriptive powers if I want to my female readers to remain and read on instead of running off to find fresh batteries.

The point of this post is to draw attention to the fact, that the wonderful, otherwise unquestionably excellent, act of dry-cleaning may actually be contributing to our forthcoming apocalypse. Dry cleaning, contrary to Mr. Seinfelds barbaric suggestions, is done with a non-water solvent rather than the back of a grubby comedian's thumbnail. Until now, this solvent had been PERC. A perky carcinogen which is often found in our drinking water and has been known to sublimate out of dry-cleaned clothes and into groceries on the drive home. What's more, it's harmful to our planet as well, so even if we manage to kill ourselves off before we destroy everything, it will still be around doing damage.

The action that we can take is this. A new solvent is now available and there are four dry-cleaners in Toronto that use it. Here is a site that lists where the 1000 machines sold so far are located worldwide. I have ordered a machine for my mansion, but for those who don't find this option within there wherewithal, go to the site and find a new cleaner, or at least ask your regular dry-cleaner, if they use PERC and then stare at them disapprovingly for a while before you give them your soiled clothing.


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