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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.


Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,
Editor

Seeing Green: Simple Ways Self-Storage Operators Can Celebrate the Earth Every Day

By Amy Campbell Comments
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By Amy Campbell  

Much like Christmas or Halloween, Earth Day only occurs one day of the year. Still the impact it makes on that day, April 22 this year, can have long-lasting affects for everyone, including self-storage operators. You may think there’s not much you can do year-round to help Mother Earth. On the contrary, there are many ways you can save, preserve, recycle and otherwise do your part.

Frisco Trail Mini Storage and Bike Depot in Springfield, Mo., is one example of a facility that’s making a difference. The storage business offers bike racks and bathrooms to riders enjoying the nearby Frisco Highline Bike Trail, a 34-mile track that runs alongside the property. Owners Rita and Bart Williams even provide showers, parking, free air, vending machines, and a work station where tenants can maintain and prep bikes for use.

Frisco was recently honored with certification for the Bicycle Friendly Business Program, created by Ozark Greenways, a citizen's group working to develop a comprehensive greenway-trail system in the region. The program recognizes businesses that support riding for patrons and employees.

Adding solar panels to a self-storage facility is one of the most common ways operators are making a difference. From California to New Jersey, owners are tapping into tax breaks and other incentives to add these systems to their properties. Not only can they reduce—and sometimes even eliminate—their power bill, some operators sell the excess power back to the company, thereby generating a bit of extra revenue each month.

One notable solar-panel project is Mamaroneck Self-Storage in New York. Real estate developers Chris and Sean Murphy of Murphy Brothers Contracting are building a 40,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed next month. The property will incorporate several green-building technologies including solar shingles, heat-recovery ventilators, a high-efficiency variable refrigerant flow cooling and heating system, and energy-efficient windows.

Solar isn’t just for new developments, either. Safeguard Self Storage is adding solar-power system installations at its 25 facilities in New Jersey and New York. Coventry Self Storage in Coventry, Conn., installed 242 rooftop solar panels last year. The system produces 100 percent of the facility’s electricity.

To read more about other operators who are adding solar, visit the ISS “Solar Panels” topic pages. If you’re thinking about solar for your storage facility or development project, check out this great article that answers seven of the most common questions on the subject.

Of course, there are many other ways you be more eco-conscious. Check out this article for ways to go green at the office. And this blog from “The Storage Facilitator” offers eight more strategies, plus how you can market your green-ness.

Being more eco-friendly is not just the right thing to do for the Earth as a whole, but your business will also reap the benefits. For example, you can save money on your electric bill by adding LED lights or solar panels. Switching to a digital lease agreement could mean less paper and ink to buy every month. You might consider accepting gently used boxes then reselling them, which can increase your retail revenue. Or you might even attract a new type of customer—one who’s looking for businesses that are eco-friendly.

As April 22 comes and goes, think about the changes you can make every day so Earth Day is not just one day a year for you and your business. Rather, being “green” becomes a goal, a challenge, a commitment.

How is your facility making a difference for the environment? Share your story in this Self-Storage Talk thread.

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