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Locating community gardens with Laundromats increases access for women who have little extracurricular time to participate in healthy living activities. By integrating gardening, exercise, and health education into an already utilized space, we can help bring these services to populations that need them most!

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Julia commented on Michelle's profile

Hi Michelle, sorry for the late reply! I am so excited about your idea to open a laundromat! I have not been able to implement anything on this scale, but I have worked with a community in Manila, Philippines, and we set up a small (2 machines so far) laundry business which currently employs 3 women. We use rainwater collection and do a basic treatment of the water, but have not yet developed beyond that. We are looking now into integrating biodigesters using the waste from the government housing buildings to generate energy for the laundromat and then use the fertilizer by-product for landscaping around the buildings. We have also considered solar panels, but are still trying to figure out how to protect the technology from theft. Anyways, we used rainwater collection and water treatment from another project and used the treated water for an urban garden, which was going really well, until there was a dengue outbreak, and officials closed down the garden (even though the two were not related). So long answer is we have partially tried the design! I am not in the Bay Area, but frequently travel to the US. Let's talk sometime about your business idea! My email address is: julia.nebrija@gmail.com and my skype name is Jnebs84. Hope to hear from you!

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Julia commented on The Laundry Garden

Hi Kirk, I started looking up some of the wind drying you mentioned and found a competition funded by Levis!
 http://myoocreate.com/challenges/care-to-air-design-challenge#view_entries_

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Julia commented on The Laundry Garden

Hi Maia,

I saw it as a local business with community benefits. I think it can be small or expand to include other services women need like grocery stores, doctors offices, day cares, libraries. In this way, the Laundromat can be a local business catalyst to leverage other community infrastructure, whether it's other local businesses (grocery stores) or public amenities (libraries). I would be ideal for the Laundromat/Garden to be managed and owned by women, especially when located in low-income communities. That said, this goal does require assistance and structure, as you mentioned. This could be made possible either through government grants or, for new business owners, micro-finance loans, or a combination: a woman starts the laundry business with a loan and a government grant provides the water treatment as long as a community garden is maintained. It could even be run by a group of women, similar to village loans where several people contribute to payments. The programmatic side of a design like this is key.

Partnering with existing local businesses who have some extra space or an empty lot is a great idea, and could be a good way to pilot the project. Thanks, Maia

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Julia!
I LOVE this idea!!! I've been researching buying a laundromat for the past two years. My day job is working as a Controller for Silicon Valley start-ups. I want to take my finance and operations knowledge and open my own company. I love the idea of a laundromat because its simple and essential. I definitely wanted to add something to it though...like a cafe. BUT the community garden and exposed water treatment system, is an amazing idea! Have you looked into this anymore or opened one? Are you located in the Bay Area?
Michelle

Hi Michelle, sorry for the late reply! I am so excited about your idea to open a laundromat! I have not been able to implement anything on this scale, but I have worked with a community in Manila, Philippines, and we set up a small (2 machines so far) laundry business which currently employs 3 women. We use rainwater collection and do a basic treatment of the water, but have not yet developed beyond that. We are looking now into integrating biodigesters using the waste from the government housing buildings to generate energy for the laundromat and then use the fertilizer by-product for landscaping around the buildings. We have also considered solar panels, but are still trying to figure out how to protect the technology from theft. Anyways, we used rainwater collection and water treatment from another project and used the treated water for an urban garden, which was going really well, until there was a dengue outbreak, and officials closed down the garden (even though the two were not related). So long answer is we have partially tried the design! I am not in the Bay Area, but frequently travel to the US. Let's talk sometime about your business idea! My email address is: julia.nebrija@gmail.com and my skype name is Jnebs84. Hope to hear from you!