Orginally Published on the News-Register: June 8, 2011

By GAIL OBERST

Of the News-Register

The owners of Alpine Cleaners in McMinnville are offering their customers a new way to be "green" - by eliminating the giant plastic bags that traditionally cover dry-cleaned clothes.

For a one-time fee, sister and brother owners Patti Jeanfaivre and Allan Wright will replace the single-use plastic bag with the "Green Garmento," which can be used both as a laundry duffel and garment cover. Customers who don't purchase the Green Garmento bag will get instead a biodegradable poly bag on their clean clothes, which is non-toxic and breaks down in the landfill within two years.

The reusable bag is made of durable, water-resistant and breathable material that can be turned in filled with your dirty clothes. It will be washed and returned covering your clean clothes.

If everyone used the bags, according to Green Garmento officials, more than 300 million pounds of plastic dry-cleaning bags could be eliminated from U.S. landfills.

Alpine Cleaners is located at 140 N.E. 19th St., near the junction of Baker and 19th streets. The Green Garmento bags are among several improvements aimed at greening-up the family business, established in 1992 by the siblings' parents, Jack and Darlene Wright.

To interested visitors, Allan Wright proudly shows off his company's eco-friendly GreenEarth cleaning process, one of only three dry-cleaning methods deemed environmentally safe and authentically organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The process leaves behind nothing but water and an odorless and nontoxic sandy material.

The USDA and the National Cleaners Associate warn consumers to be aware that some cleaners call petroleum solvent-based cleaners "organic," even though they are considered to be dangerous to human health and to the environment. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 85 percent of dry cleaners in the U.S. continue to use such solvents, developed in the 1940s.

For more information about the Green Garmento bag, visit www.thegreengarmento.com. For more information about Alpine Cleaners, call 503-472-0818.