Go Green or Go Home

Lubabah Memon |

Efforts to help save the environment are at an all time high, especially with the newer generation.  People are finally realizing the harmful effects of global warming and are trying to do whatever they can to make a difference and go green.  We are recycling more, trying to use less water, and using our resources more efficiently.  However, in order to actually bring about change, you need to start getting involved.  It has to be a community effort, and once companies look into it, they’ll see that not only will it help the environment, but it’ll also have a positive impact on their businesses.

What does a green storage facility look like?  How will going green benefit tenants and storage facility owners?  Will taking certain measures really have a big impact on the environment?  These are all very important questions that you should have the answers to before renting a unit or making changes to your facility.

Recycling

One of the simplest and probably easiest things you can look for is a facility that provides tenants with the option to recycle.  Storage facilities often partner with a charity that accepts donations like furniture, clothing, and other household goods so tenants can get stuff off of their hands and it can be reused.  Some facilities have the charity that they sign up with come down to the facility once a week, and a lot of them do pickups for free, so this wouldn’t cost you anything.

You can also find a facility that provides ways to recycle on site with something simple such as recycling bins around the facility. Some even have recycling centers come pick up larger items like old electronics, damaged appliances, and other recyclable items.  Having a shredder on site would also be useful in case you are cleaning out your unit and need to dispose of important documents.

Managers, if you feel like providing these amenities is costing you extra, you can always ask tenants for a small fee.  People will be willing to pay for the convenience.  However, these minor adjustments shouldn’t make much of an impact on your finances, so you’ll probably be able to keep it free for your renters and even open it up to the public.

Using Technology

In today’s tech savvy world, it’s a shame if the facility that you are renting at has not gone paperless.  Not only is looking through computer databases a lot more efficient, but it saves paper.  As a tenant, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of billing, lease agreements, and any other contracts you may have piled up in filing cabinets.

Storage facilities can also go green by advertising online.  If you’re a facility manager, create your marketing materials and distribute them on social media—it’s the best way to advertise these days anyway.

Soak Up the Sun

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, find a facility that has invested in solar panels.  Storage facilities have the perfect architecture (rows and rows of flat roofs) to install hundreds of panels across their units.  Facilities that install these panels can be completely powered by the sun, which significantly reduces energy costs.  This trickles down to lower rent prices for you.

Managers, we know what you’re thinking—storage facilities don’t use up much energy to begin with because the lights in the units are off for most of the time.  However, you’ll still save money because you can sell back the extra energy that you save to your local power company.  This way you’ll help out others as well as benefit your own business.  Even if you don’t end up selling the energy, the average time it’ll take for you to make back the money you spend on solar panels is only about five years, so it’s definitely worth the investment.

Some Other Changes

There are some other things that you should consider when looking for a facility that is environmentally friendly.  For starters, check to see if they use fluorescent bulbs for lighting.  They take a lot less energy than the regular ones, and white light looks nicer too.

You should also look for lights that have motion sensors or timers for both inside your units and out on the facility grounds.  It’s easy to forget to turn off the lights before you head out, so the lights can be left on for weeks at a time without anyone knowing.

Another tip is to look for a facility that auctions off or donates the items left in units instead of throwing them out—it’s nice to see that they are trying not to add to already towering landfills.

Finally, try to rent a unit at a facility that builds its units with sustainable or recycled materials.  More companies are starting to do this and are finding that it doesn't make a difference in the infrastructure of their buildings, and it’s really good for the environment.

What’s in it for Me?

The main reason you should look for an environmentally friendly storage facility is because you’ll encourage the industry to make changes that will benefit everyone.

For managers, there actually are a lot more perks involved.  First of all, it’s a really good way to advertise.  Not only will you get your name out there, but it’ll also set you apart from your competitors.  You’ll definitely get a lot more customers, especially millennials.  In fact, 35% of people are actually willing to pay more for a unit at a facility that’s environmentally friendly.  The more aware people are becoming of hazards to the environment, the more willing they are to make sacrifices to ensure its safety and preservation.

Another benefit is that a lot of states offer tax credits to businesses that strive towards energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts.  For example, you can get a 30% corporate tax credit if you get solar panels—that’s a lot of money! Check out Energy Star for more ways to save energy and how to save some extra cash while you’re at it!

Lower costs and taxes for the facility means lower rental costs for you.  It’s hard to find things that can benefit society and companies alike.  When you finally find the means of doing so, make sure you go for it!