The Williston Observer reported this week that Eco Car Wash company owners Aaron Vincelette and David Soons have opened their new flagship facility off Route 2A near James Brown Drive (right by Agway). This place was four years in the making–take a look:
As you probably know, one of the dangers with a business like this is “greenwashing”–that is, adopting a couple of seemingly environmentally-friendly practices while running a deeply unsustainable business and calling it “green.” “Eco-friendly” products have proliferated in recent years that range from questionable to downright horrible in terms of environmental impact. Is Eco Car Wash one of them, or is it a truly sustainable approach to washing cars? From the evidence I’ve seen, this appears to be the real deal.
If the biggest environmental impacts of a car wash are water, energy, construction, and the gas people expend to drive there, Eco Car Wash seems to be a win on all four fronts. They gather rain and snow and process their water on site, relieving the municipal water system of a potentially large impact; their transparent design and high-efficiency equipment minimize electrical use; their building is constructed from recycled and reclaimed materials; and their location is on the commute and errand path of many Williston and Essex residents.
Vincelette and Soons own and operate Eco Car Wash facilities in Milton and Plattsburgh, but the Williston facility is the most ambitious and sustainable car wash they’ve established.
Car washes range from $8-$21. Eco Car Wash also offers detailing, gift cards, and a fleet program. This makes its pricing about average for the industry (for in-tunnel washes) despite the ecological advantages, according to StatisticBrain.com.
It makes sense that their prices should be normal even though they have presumably spent much more than the usual amount on constructing the facility, because their energy and water management practices should save them a bundle over time. While a car wash is an unusually obvious example for this kind of practice, it’s an approach virtually any business can take to be more profitable, as demonstrated by the massive energy retrofit done at the Empire State Building a few years ago: see Empire State Building’s Energy Savings Beat Forecast.
If I sound like an advertisement for this business, you’ll have to pardon me: it’s rare that I see a business that takes sustainability to these lengths. I haven’t been to the place already; if you have, leave a comment and let us know what you think of it.