With more than forty million Americans moving each year, often downsizing or temporarily leaving behind some of their possessions, the storage facilities business is booming. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that storage facility stocks gained more than any other type of stock in real estate investment trusts. The foreclosure crisis has also led to a boom in building new storage facilities. With all this in mind, it is important to access the environmental impact of these storage facilities and come up with solutions to reduce their environmental footprint.
Relatively speaking, storage facilities take up a large parcel of land. Therefore, investors in these types of properties often look for land they can buy cheap. This often means they end up being built in a wetland area or another environmentally sensitive area. In fact, some nature focused land trusts have made deals with storage facilities who have agreed not to expand further into an environmentally sensitive area and/or choose to locate elsewhere. If you will be renting a storage unit (like this one in Melbourne), you may want to consider this as a factor in your decision as to which one to rent and let the companies you shop know this is important to you. This will put them on alert that choosing a more eco-friendly location can be good for their bottom line.
Eco-friendly buildings use one-third less energy on average than traditionally built buildings and they use less toxic materials. Rows of storage units happen to be one of the easiest types of buildings to build as an eco-friendly building. This is because the style of building is exceedingly simple compared to most houses and business buildings. With the governmental incentives in place to build eco-friendly buildings, it usually makes clear economic sense to build a new storage facility as a green building. It is also quite easy to use recycled materials in the building of a storage facility since aesthetic appearance is not the top concern.
Although storage facilities usually use less energy than most similarly sized business, many modern storage facilities are heated and all come with lights. Solar panels can be installed as an eco-friendly solution. With their low flat roofs, it is actually much easier to install solar panels on storage facilities than on most other types of buildings. Additionally, there is almost never anything blocking the full radiation of the sun at a storage facility. Solar panels also send an obvious signal to all who pass by that they are attempting to be more eco-friendly. This draws business into the facility and sends a great message to the community. Putting a storage facility on a solar tour is a way to show pride in this effort and to drum up more business. Of course, storage facilities can also install energy efficient fluorescent bulbs in each unit to conserve energy.
Another environmental issue associated with storage facilities is the fact that so many people throw away so much at these facilities. You have probably noticed that a storage facilities' dumpster is often brimming full and this is all taken to the landfill. A eco-friendly way to handle this problem is to set up an easy to follow recycling program right beside the garbage dumpsters. When designing it, it must be kept in mind that the easier it is for the patrons to use the recycling program, the more they will use it.
While traditional storage facilities are hard on the environment, it is comforting to know that they are also one of the easiest businesses to make substantially more eco-friendly. You can do your part by simply talking with the owners of your local storage facilities or with anyone proposing to build a new one. Let them know the eco-friendly options available to them and why it would be good for their profitability as well. Good luck!