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.
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.