You've heard of environmentally friendly cars that use alternative forms of fuel and homes running solely on solar energy. Well, Jersey City resident Christopher Book is bringing the "green" mentality to his new business: a neighborhood laundromat.
Book, who is originally from Montville, will hold the grand opening for JC Eco Laundry in Downtown Jersey City on April 4.
While living in North Bergen in the early 2000s, Book said he used laundromats on a weekly basis and soon began thinking of opening his own. After catching wind of a vacant property in Jersey City and laying out plans for an environmentally-friendly brand, he calls the decision to open JC Eco Laundry a "no brainer."
"I ran Laundry Place in Clifton from 2009 to 2013 while living in Belleville ... after selling that I saw an ad on craigslist for the laundromat (in Jersey City that) recently went out of business and the property and machines were in bad shape and in need of major remodeling," said the 36-year-old Book.
"I decided to take on this project and give the neighborhood the laundromat it was desperately in need of."
And there's more than one reason the laundromat, located at 340 Second St., has "eco" in its name. Book said the store uses T8 LED lights, which have a 30 percent energy saving over fluorescent lights, as well as Nellie's All-Natural laundry products.
JC Eco Laundry will also have a hanger drop for wash-and-fold customers to recycle their hangers.
The recently renovated laundromat, which Book said he plans to ultimately run using solar energy, is fully equipped with 25 new washers, 28 dryers, a digital card machine system and free Wi-Fi.
"We have equipped our store with Electrolux 450 G-Force washers, which are the most energy-efficient machines in the world," said Book. "Every single wash determines the actual weight of the load and adds precisely the right amount of water, significantly reducing water consumption and energy-use.
"Every new customer that comes in will get a tutorial from me on how to use our machines," he added. "We strive on having the cleanest laundromat in Jersey City and try to make every customer's visit as pleasant as possible."
JC Eco Laundry, which has been open since its soft opening in October, recently collaborated with Jersey City-based organizations Rising Tide Capital and Angela Cares to collect donations of clothing and toiletries for the victims of the Avalon apartment complex fire in Edgewater in January.
"In the near future I hope to engage other nonprofits like Dress for Success and Soxcess, a nonprofit in Jersey City that collects new socks, winter accessories and toiletries for the homeless and individuals in need," Book said.
JC Eco Laundry also offers a pick up and delivery service, and plans to partner with local small business owners and organizations to hold social events.
Book will be joined by Mayor Steve Fulop at the laundromat for a grand opening event April 4 at 1 p.m. with free food and giveaways like laundry cards and laundry bags.
Find more information at www.jcecolaundry.com.