Guest Post: Self-Storage is Going Green?

This guest post from Matt Schexnayder provides an interesting glimpse into green activities that are occurring within the self storage industry, led by companies such as SpareFoot. 

Each solar panel that is being used here is projected to produce somewhere around 1.5 megawatts of renewable energy, a big step towards the green movement.

When I say “self-storage”, what do you think of?  Most might say the television shows Storage Wars or Auction Hunters, others might think of a hoarder’s paradise where people can keep tons of useless junk. One thing is for sure, the last thing you probably think of is energy efficiency, but that is all is about to change.

It may surprise you to know that this industry is actually, or at least recently becoming, an inherently green one. Storage facilities actually use far fewer resources to get through their everyday operations, more so than most other businesses. The growing popularity of recycling and alternate energy forms has made it easy for this industry to position itself as a force to be reckoned with. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the things that storage facility owners are doing to push this movement and what we can learn from them.

When we say that someone or something is going green, that don’t necessarily mean you are driving an electric car, or using solar and/or electric power to supply energy to your business; it simply means that you are doing your part to conserve, in whatever way that may be.

Facilities everywhere are coming up with new, creative solutions to energy sustainability issues. In addition to traditional methods like improving insulation and installing timers for lights, alternative energy solutions are becoming much more affordable for businesses. A geothermal air conditioning system, for example, pumps water from underground wells into a ventilation system in the facility walls, which drastically increases the building’s efficiency while reducing costs. Ventilation and temperature control are primary concerns for individual unit spaces, accounting for insulation challenges at self-storage facilities.

Recycling is probably the biggest step towards the green movement, but even that can be taken a step further. We all know about how we should put paper, plastic and aluminum in their respective bins whenever possible, but another branch that most people don’t think about is recycling used electronics; TV’s, computers, and old phones all fall under this category. So when you decide to treat yourself and purchase that new LCD TV or fancy smartphone, be sure that you dispose of your old one the right way, the responsible way.

Some storage operators have discovered that using a different type of landscape and cleaning chemicals can seriously minimize the facilities negative impact on the environment. And instead of gross mops, dirty water buckets and strong odor cleaners, many places are switching to spray cleaners, reusable cloths and quick-dry floor liquids (even Swiffer’s are a good alternative). Simple changes like this can go a long way for the environment, as well as improve the workplace atmosphere for your employees.

This is just the beginning of green solutions for the self-storage industry. Every day, more and more ideas are being thought up and implemented. Hopefully over the next few years, we will see a totally green storage business. And with everyone doing their own part, the reality of achieving this is not that farfetched.


This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage with more than 5,000 self-storage facilities listed nationwide.

Photo: SpareFoot

About the Author

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
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  • I believe more and more self storage companies as well as other businesses are taking their part on caring for the environment. We at Global Self Storage here in Sydney is also going green by using more organic and earth friendly cleaning products and set timers on our lights. We are finding more ways on how to make our facilities earth-friendly and the geothermal air conditioning system, i think is a great a idea and something that we might have to consider.

  • We were thinking about this at Safehouse any other advice on how we can do this?

  • I totally agree with the opinion mentioned above. Every company should focus on self storage. Going green is the only way to save environment & life on earth.

  • The storage facility near my place is also going green. The owner is moving towards sustainability and being kinder to the environment. He said that at first, it will be very expensive to install these new technologies to make his storage facility more environment-friendly; however, he also mentioned that in the long-run, it is worth it. He even caught the local council’s eye that his storage business won green awards for upholding sustainability. He said that he also gained the trust of his current client base, since according to them he is willing to invest in technologies that provide good benefits to the environment. This translated to more referrals and sales.

  • Hi, ive herd about this quite a few times and didn’t realize people were actually implementing/incorporating it already. This is a good post, i didnt even consider cleaning products being a aspect, some insightful stuff, thanks