Is going green good for small business? Just ask the owner of this bar-and-laundromat.

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In this case, it was Morgan's memories of sharing one pair of outdated and unreliable laundry machines with twelve others in her college apartment.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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