Everyone’s looking for creative ways to be kinder to the environment.
Now one Cork launderette and dry cleaners is harnessing the power of Mother Nature by washing their clients’ clothes using something we have plenty of in Ireland; the rain.
The Laundry Basket has been operating from their premises at the end of Barrack Street in the city since 2005, but when the business expanded into a larger unit in Ballyvolane Commercial Park, owner Louise O’Dea spotted a unique opportunity to switch to a more eco-friendly approach.
“I have always been conscious of the huge volumes of water we go through each day.” Louise tells Yay Cork.
“In our shop in town we can use up to 3,500 litres per day. Knowing that water is such a precious resource that comes with massive costs to us and in turn to our customers, I looked at water reclamation in town. Unfortunately our location and space confined us.
“When we took the new unit in Ballyvolane, one of the first things I did was to install a water harvesting system. It cost around €6,500. We collect rainwater from the roof of my unit and it is diverted into a 5,000 litre holding tank.”
The water moves through a double filtering process before it is pumped into Louise’s washing and dry-cleaning machines. A whopping 80% of all the water in the Ballyvolane operation is reclaimed.
“We are delighted with the results.” Louise adds.
“Our water bills have drastically reduced and because the rainwater is softer than mains water, we can reduce the amount of detergent we need to use so it’s better for the environment. More importantly, we are harnessing a truly precious resource.
“I get such a buzz hearing the tank fill up. I know it won’t be popular to say, but I do have a small smile on my face every time it rains!”