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Going green is becoming a popular trend in the world today, as more and more homes and businesses are installing solar panels, recycling and using energy efficient materials and supplies in their premises, as a way of preserving the environment. Owners of storage facilities have not been left out, and a growing number of facilitates have started to adopt these environmentally friendly strategies. One of the most commonly embraced strategies is the use of solar power. This article details the main reasons why storage facilities should go solar: Energy Savings How much energy does your storage facility currently use? How do seasonal climate changes affect energy usage? How many climate controlled mobile self-storage units do you have? Are you required to provide energy for the live-in manager? Naturally, storage facilities utilize minimal amounts of energy, and connecting solar power could make them totally self-sufficient. Due to the fact that most storage facilities are usually accessed at night, facilities that are connected with solar power place no demand on the power grid at peak usage times. The size of the solar power system will be determined by the current energy usage of the storage facility in order to offset the current energy costs. And since these facilities will be spending less on energy, you can therefore lower your rental prices further and attract more clients. Potential Earnings Owners of storage facilities can earn some additional income by selling the surplus energy back to their utility companies. Owners should check with their local providers to establish if there are any limits on how much electricity the utility company will buy back. This way, you can calculate how much income your storage facility can earn. Competitive Edge Installing solar power can give your storage business a competitive edge, particularly with the younger crowds and the environmentally-conscious. According to statistics given by Earthshare.org, 35% of population is more willing to pay for services from businesses that are environmentally friendly. Your renewable efforts and efficiency can give you an edge over your rivals, even when you are competing against the bigger brands. Press – Free Publicity Your storage facility will receive a wide range of coverage for its green efforts, with mentions in the mainstream media and other publications. You can send out press releases to the right channels and by so doing, you can position your brand as an energy efficient business and draw a lot of publicity towards your storage facility. Return on Investment Installing and maintaining solar power can be an unaffordable venture for most businesses. However, investing in this form of renewable energy pays for itself in the long run because, ultimately, the amount you will save in energy costs will outweigh the upfront costs of investment. It will take approximately five and a half years for the facility to recoup its investment via reduced tax credits, energy bills and rebates. Tax Credits Many localities, cities, states and countries around the world offer tax credits to businesses that practice energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies. Check with your local authority or government to see what kind of benefits you will enjoy in your area. Some governments, such the federal government in the United States, offer attractive benefits to businesses which save energy and produce their own; for instance, a 30% corporate tax credit is given for solar panels. For a detailed list of energy saving strategies, you can visit the website EnergyStar.gov. Social Responsibility – Giving Back to the Community The process of installing solar power for the storage facility will require professionals with the right kind of expertise. You can hire contractors from your locality to install and maintain the solar panels for you, thereby creating job opportunities for them. Furthermore, the energy generated from the project can be used to power the homes that surround the storage facility, as a way of appreciating the support they show to your business. Diversify your Business Some storage facility operators shy away from integrating climate control or refrigeration systems due to the high electricity costs involved. But thanks to solar power, these facilities can now provide power to run these systems at considerably lower prices. With these systems available, the storage facility can diversify its business and start handling frozen foodstuffs such as meat, chicken, prepared foods, strawberries and other products. Other operators are now turning into seasonal climate control, whereby the climate control option is available only during summer (when there is adequate sunlight to supply power for the cooling and refrigeration systems). Clients can sign up for these seasonal agreements so they too can help conserve energy and the environment. Prestige By connecting solar power to the storage facilities, the buildings can qualify for LEED certification. This is a prestigious standing awarded to businesses constructed with efficient and recycled materials. Such an award can immensely boost the reputation of your business, and also allows you to take advantage of state and local incentives. Set the Trend As a trendsetter, your business can assume the role of being the chief campaigner for green energy strategies in your local community. You may as well restructure your mobile self-storage unit (for more info on mobile self-storage unit go to http://www.taxiboxmobileselfstorage.com.au/) so that it becomes the first self-sustained “green” business in your locality. Taking a higher moral ground can go a long way in building trust and confidence amongst your targeted clients. Suitability – Ease of Installation The design of storage facilities makes them perfect for solar energy panels. Rooftop solar power installations are the most practicable options, because of the dense structure of the storage facilities, where units are compact and buildings are simple – most of these buildings are single-storied structures with flat roofs, allowing easy installation of high-density arrays of photovoltaic cells. Conclusion The storage industry is gradually positioning itself as responsible environmental stewards and leaders in the communities that they serve. Currently, more and more storage facilities are exploiting solar energy for their businesses, as they seek to play an influential role in environmental management and conservation. Governments and non-governmental organizations around the world have also a put a lot of money into reversing the degradation of the ozone layer through legislation and by encouraging business enterprises to embrace ecologically friendly alternatives, such as solar power. Photo courtesy of
According to the United States Census Bureau, more the forty million Americans move each year. Moreover, this is a growing trend since the American population is becoming increasingly mobile. Unfortunately, each move has a significant environmental impact. However, if we each do our part, we can also reduce this impact substantially. Below, you will find six eco-friendly moving tips on how to reduce your environmental footprint when you move. Use Eco-friendly Moving Boxes Instead of buying cardboard moving boxes that you'll use only once, you can buy reusable boxes made from 100% recycled plastic. There are also several companies who specialize in renting these types of eco-friendly boxes. Besides being kind to the environment, there are many other advantages to using recycled plastic boxes. They're easily stackable, have tight fitting lids, and have sturdy handles making them easier to carry. They're also much stronger than cardboard boxes meaning your stuff won't get crushed or fall out the bottom. Recycle Cardboard Boxes If you do use cardboard moving boxes, you can keep them out of the landfill. Many movers toss their cardboard boxes in the trash after they unload them at their new place. Instead, you can save them for future use if you have the storage space. If you are renting a storage unit (in Auckland, for example) to store some of your belongings, you can always store your moving cardboard boxes on top of your other stuff as they are lightweight when empty. You can also advertise on CraigsList to give away free moving boxes. Other movers will often be glad to get them so they don't have to scrounge around desperately hunting for boxes. As a last resort, you can take the cardboard boxes to a recycling center. Use Recycled Bubble Wrap and Packaging Peanuts Instead of buying new bubble wrap and packaging peanuts, try to hunt down used packing materials and recycle it. As soon as you anticipate moving, ask your friends, family, neighbors, and local businesses to place save these materials for you. In the process of doing this, it will encourage others to save and recycle packaging materials too. Don't Toss Usable Items In the Trash Moving is usually a time we finally clean out our closets. Many movers will simply toss old clothes, bedding, household plants, and other items into the trash. These items end up in the landfill. Avoid this tragedy by donating your unwanted items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores that support causes like help for battered women, the homeless, and habitat for humanity. There is also a free category on CraigsList where you can give your items to people who really want and need them. You can also let your neighbors take what they want. Give Away Your Perishable Food Instead of tossing perishable food and other food you don't want to take with you, take the time to give this food away to your friends and neighbors. Homeless shelters would also be glad to get this food. You could even make up some lunches and pass them out to homeless people on the street. Use Bio-diesel Moving Trucks Some moving companies offer moving trucks that run on biodegradable biodiesel. Biodiesel is a renewable resource, unlike gasoline, made from plant sources like soybeans, canola, and sunflowers. Burning biodiesel is also far less toxic to the environment than burning gasoline. It releases fewer particulates, sulfates, and carbon monoxide into the air. Good luck with your move and please help us spread the word about the importance of eco-friendly moving. Photo courtesy of http://www.moversblog123.com