Is going green good for small business? Just ask the owner of this bar-and-laundromat.
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CNBC's The Profit

Small business owner Morgan Gary's business idea came to her like so many great ideas do: as a way to improve where her own experiences had failed.

In this case, it was Morgan's memories of sharing one pair of outdated and unreliable laundry machines with twelve others in her college apartment. She knew she could do it better — and she knew she could do it sustainably.


GIF via Low Portland/YouTube.

She acquired her MBA in Sustainable Business and set out to open her own laundromat, Spin Laundry Lounge, in Portland, Oregon.

First, Gary purchased fast, energy-efficient laundry machines that save water and up to 30% on energy usage.

She stocks the shelves with eco-friendly laundry products and allows patrons to pay any way they want: credit cards, smartphones, or good old-fashioned quarters.

But with more industrial-chic! GIF via Low Portland/YouTube.

You can even text your laundry machine to see how much time is left on its cycle.

GIF via HLN/YouTube.

"But why is it called a lounge?" you might ask. Because it's also got a supercool bar and cafe right in the store. Don't want to do nothing while waiting for your laundry, but also don't want to waste gas to leave? Just sit at the bar or in the lounge and enjoy local food and drinks while you wait.

I suddenly have the urge to do laundry. Mmmm. GIF via Low Portland/YouTube.

This combo of sustainability and convenience has made Spin Laundry Lounge a super successful business.

It's clear that being business-minded and going green aren't mutually exclusive.

Even big brands and organizations are investing in the same sustainable practices that are helping many small businesses. In fact, being sustainable is becoming a smarter and smarter move for businesses.

It's happening in energy:

  • Apple and Google are experimenting with making home energy more efficient.
  • More than $50 billion in stocks, bonds, and other investments in fossil fuels have been dumped by more than 180 institutions.

And in water:

And in food:

Shoppers are looking toward the planet's future now more than ever.

Getting a head start on sustainable practices isn't just good for the environment — it's good for business.

P.S. Here's a cool video feature from Low Portland on Spin Laundry Lounge!

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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