As environmental awareness rises, you may be wondering how you can make your storage facility greener. Not only is it possible to make your business more environmentally friendly, you’re likely to save money doing it.
The more carbon dioxide we add to the atmosphere, the warmer the overall climate gets. This is why scientists talk about reducing our “carbon footprint.” For a company to be ecologically and environmentally friendly, it needs to reduce its carbon footprint. Ideally, one day, humanity will be able to reverse the trend, perhaps with more trees and other plants to start reducing the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Until then, we all need to do our best.
Check Those Lights
You were probably told as a child to turn the lights off when you leave a room. Sometimes we forget. Unfortunately, some of our electricity is still produced using fossil fuels. Reduce your electricity usage, and you reduce the amount of fossil fuels necessary to run your business. You’ll also save on your storage facility’s power bill.
We’re actually talking about more than just your lights. Lowering your energy usage also means turning off the AC, meaning heating and cooling, computers, and office equipment when they’re not in use. Keep in mind that you can put at least some of these on timers so that they turn off on their own if you or your employees forget to.
In addition to turning these things off when not in use, you should get energy efficient equipment with the Energy Star logo. When it comes to lights, incandescent and fluorescent are out. Instead, opt for LED lighting, which is far more energy efficient. LEDs are more expensive, but typically last for 20,000 to 50,000 hours.
Reduce Fueled Travel
For the most part, your employees will need to be on the premises of your self storage facility, but it’s important to remember that gasoline and jet fuel add a great deal of carbon to the atmosphere. What can you do to reduce the amount used by your company?
You may want to consider getting a fuel efficient, hybrid, or electric car. Offer incentives to your employees who live nearby and bike to work, or offer incentives for employees who carpool.
Do you have any employees who don’t need to work in the office? If you have a creative team, you could allow them to work from home. If you have an IT professional, have them work from home as well and only come in when a system needs to be worked on directly.
Consider taking fewer flights for business. It certainly makes sense to fly out for a self storage convention, but these days big business meetings can happen online.
Reduce Your Trash and Recycle
Have you ever been to a landfill and noticed the weird, sickly sweet smell? That’s mostly ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, produced by the many items we throw away daily. Decaying items in landfills also produce carbon dioxide, the worst of the greenhouse gasses.
Recycle as much as you can, and less of your company’s waste will go to a landfill. That, in turn, will help reduce your facility’s carbon footprint. All metals can be recycled, as can most paper and plastic products.
Find out where to take old electronic equipment that no longer works or that you no longer need. Computers and the like require specialized recycling centers. Some computer and electronic stores, like Best Buy, will take these items and recycle them.
Also, see if you have Waste-to-Energy plant near you. These companies can incinerate trash, and while they do release some greenhouse gases, they at least reap the benefit of getting electrical energy, rather than nothing, out of the process. They also produce fewer greenhouse gases than do gasoline or coal.
Sell Eco-friendly Products
We’re not suggesting that you sell products unrelated to self storage, but rather to keep an eye out for products you do sell that are produced in the most eco-friendly manner possible. This could mean anything from boxes, to packing tape, to locks.
Reduce Paper Use
Many businesses have been getting closer to the paperless office goal. Instead of inter-office memos, send emails. Instead of having a door check sheet on a clipboard, record the information in a spreadsheet via a tablet. Encourage your employees to get their paychecks via direct deposit, rather than printed. Allow your tenants to opt out of receiving paper bills, and to get their bills sent via email instead.
Keep a Garden
It’s a bad idea to have plants growing near your storage buildings, as a variety of bugs will move in and may travel to the buildings. However, the office is generally far enough away to keep the storage buildings safe, so having an attractive natural area outside the office is a good idea. You could have a tree or two, a bush, and lots of flowers. This does two main things. First, it makes your facility look more attractive. Second, it puts a nice dent in your facility’s carbon footprint. Trees and other plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Frankly, the world could use more trees.
These methods should give you a great start in making your facility part of the solution to protecting the environment. We hope they also bring your self storage facility increased success.