Tuesday, May 28, 2024
May 28, 2024

Ending single-use plastic through the Laundromat

BY Marcia Jansen

Driftwood contributor

It’s a much-needed service for everyone without access to a washing machine — but Salt Spring’s Laundromat is so much more.  

It’s a social enterprise, founded by the Wagon Wheel Housing Society, to help eliminate single-use plastic containers with its soap exchange program. And the good news is, you don’t have to do your laundry at the Laundromat to benefit from this program.   

The Laundromat on Fulford-Ganges Road opened its doors in the summer of 2021 after the former laundromat on Salt Spring closed five years earlier. The Wagon Wheel Housing Society has been fundraising since 2016 to be able to open this new laundry facility.  

“It is an essential service for this island,” said Cherie Geauvreau, chair of the Wagon Wheel Society. “Many people have no secure housing or live in tiny houses, boats and vans; tourists come to visit on boats or camp in Ruckle Park and water is scarce. We also see homeowners whose wells have dried up.”   

Residents and tourists can wash and dry clothes and bedding; the fees for laundry ($5 for small, $10 for medium and $15 for large loads) include eco-friendly laundry detergent. There is also a wheelchair-accessible shower people can use for five, 10 or 15 minutes — for $5, $10 or $15.   

All the front-loading washing machines are high efficiency and water-saving. Dryer balls shorten drying time. And there is a wide range of soap products available for sale.  

“The soap exchange is an idea from Adina Hildebrandt, who donated to start it up,” Geauvreau said. “It fits perfectly the vision of the Wagon Wheel Society: promoting social and environmental welfare for all islanders.”     

And you don’t have to do your laundry at the Laundromat to benefit from the soap exchange. 

“Bring your own bottle or buy a Mason jar,” said co-manager Sophia Johnson. “When you bring your container back, we take off $1 for refills.”  

All products are biodegradable, animal cruelty-free, septic tank safe and made in Canada, including enzyme odour digestor, hand and body soap, bathroom and all-purpose cleaner, liquid and powder laundry and dish detergents, shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

The Laundromat is open Sunday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

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