Washing your car with a glass of water 
High on the list of water-wasting activities is washing your vehicle. More than 800 million gallons of water are used to wash vehicles in the United States each day. Not to mention the runoff from the soap and cleaners that flows down the driveway and into the water stream. In areas like California where water is already in short supply, it’s tough to justify using gallons of water to wash your car.

But one businessman has found a way for consumers and businesses to keep their cars clean without the waste. In September, Pierrick Bouquet (pictured) opened Ecolo Green Car Wash using environmentally friendly products and only enough water to fill a single glass to wash vehicles.

Here’s how it works: Ecolo-Car is a water-based product that blends coconut soap and an organic polymer. Ecolo-Car is sprayed on a vehicle and the organic polymers dissolve, lifting the dirt from the surface. The residue is wiped off with a microfiber cloth, the surface is buffed and the car is clean. (Check out the company’s YouTube channel for video demonstrations.)

Based in Newport Beach, Calif., Bouquet primarily works with large businesses, going on site to those companies to wash employee or business vehicles. Bouquet says he plans to expand franchising opportunities next spring and also is trying to take his Ecolo products nationwide (currently you can purchase the products from the Web site). He’s also is looking into commercial car wash locations near supermarkets and shopping centers so people can leave their cars to be cleaned while shopping or running errands.

Originally from France, Bouquet got the idea for Ecolo Green Car Wash while vacationing there and hearing about the popularity of green car washes in Europe. He researched the market in California – which is in a drought condition – and decided the state was ready for his water-saving business.

The term “ecolo” is shorthand for "écologiste,” which in French means someone who lives a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle that has a minimum environmental impact.

A typical Ecolo car wash costs $17 to $20 for the two most popular services, but it’s done on site so it saves customers time. Plus, consumers know they aren’t wasting water. And some of those profits benefit the larger mission of water conservation. Ecolo Green Car Wash has partnered with Water Education Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission of helping resolve California’s water crisis by raising awareness.

We give a big Green Thumbs Up to Bouquet and Ecolo Green Car Wash for saving millions of gallons of water. We hope to see green car washes like this springing up around the country.

For the latest updates, follow Ecolo Green Car Wash on Twitter.

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