Environmentalist, artist and author, Michael DeJong, was born in Chicago Heights, IL, in 1962, earning his MFA from the University of Illinois in 1987 before moving to NYC. Once settled, to support himself as a working artist, DeJong ran a housekeeping business for 7 years. In response to his own health challenges caused by multiple daily exposures to toxic commercial household cleaners, he began researching healthier, natural alternatives, using his clients’ homes as his “laboratory,” formulating and testing his eco-friendly, human-friendly and pet-friendly cleaning recipes on his clients and his partner of 20 years, Richard Haymes. Since 2002 they have been living in an historic rowhouse from 1833 in Jersey City, creatively making a 180 year old house into a green living space.
After launching a successful career as a commercial photo-stylist, he put aside his hundreds of cleaning recipes and notes, only to return to them in 2005 when he was asked to write a book on environmental cleaning , “Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing” (Sterling Publishing, 2007).
Upon its release, “Clean” quickly found a large following and was Sterling’s best seller for 2007. DeJong donated thousands of "Clean" books to Al Gore that were included in the “Trainee Tool Kit” for the international attendees of his “Climate Project” trainings. The book was also touted by Teresa Heinz Kerry in her lecture series, “Women, Health & the Environment,” and was auctioned by Bette Midler to raise funds for her “Restoration Project” in NYC. “Clean” has been quoted, reviewed and/or recommended by the Sierra Club, Womens Voices for the Earth, Town & Country Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart’s Blueprint Magazine, This Old House Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, The Seattle Times, USA Weekend Magazine, Lifetime Television, the CBS Early Show with Harry Smith, and several other media outlets.
Since the success of "Clean," DeJong has written 2 more volumes for his "My Kind of Clean" series of “green” cleaning, beauty, and lifestyle books. “Clean Body” and “Clean Cures” were released by Sterling Publishing in spring and fall of 2009 respectively. In keeping with the spirit of the content of the books, Sterling agreed to print and reprint all 3 books in a sustainable fashion using vegetable-dye inks and pre- and post-consumer recycled papers--their first ever sustainable series. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Michael%20DeJong
Michael has been the eco-cleaning adviser and weekly contributor to Hearst Publishing’s first online magazine, “The Daily Green," and was the eco-expert “Mr. Green” for the "Ask Mr. Green" column for “Ask Mr. Green” NBC-Universal-Bravo’s environmental website www.GreenIsUniversal.com.
He and his partner Richard have founded the OneCleanWorld Foundation in the US. The OneCleanWorld Foundation supports, raises awareness of, and encourages eco- and sustainability projects in the US and abroad through grants, technical assistance and/or micro-financing in the areas of education and outreach, advocacy and public health, and building or enhancing green economies and infrastructures. The foundation accepts donations of any amount, and is also funded with the royalties from DeJong's "My Kind of Clean" series of books. To make a donation, please visit http://www.stonewallfoundation.org/contribute_form.php?Section=ContributionForm&lid=10 and type "OCW Foundation" in the box that asks "My gift is made in honor/memory of..."
DeJong's website, www.MyKindofClean.com contains archives of his blogs, cleaning tips from the books, videos, and other eco-information. The OneCleanWorld Foundation is also developing an open-source, interactive, social-networking, eco-wiki, “We-Think” style, web portal for environmentalists, eco-activists, sustainability entrepreneurs and bloggers interested in improving the planet one-household-at-a-time. The website will be one source for selecting grantees. The first OneCleanWorld Foundation grant was awarded in June 2010 to Greensburg/Greentown, Inc., the not-for-profit spearheading the green LEED Platinum rebuilding of Greensburg, a small Kansas town destroyed by the strongest tornado to ever touch ground.