» Green Design

  • It Is Cool To Go Green
    By admin on February 5, 2008 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    It seems everywhere you look here lately you see some evidence of the push to make society environmentally friendly.  It is the virtual greening of America and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and in this writers opinion it is about time.  The self storage industry is no exception to this and in fact may be more prepared to make the shift to a greener way to operate.  Many of the new self storage facilities being built are doing so with materials that have been recycled and the waste from those materials are then recycled for other uses that assist in the building.  Starting from the ground up is a great way to ensure all aspects of the facility are green but what about existing self storage facilities?

    One way to help the environment and reduce operating costs is to install photovoltaic panels to capture solar rays to generate electricity.  Doing this will eliminate one more expense each month. Any excess electricity generated would go back to the power grid and be sold to the electric utility.  Do not let the initial cost scare you, as there is usually some form of rebate from the electric utility and tax incentives from both state and federal government.  Not only will you save money in the long run and generate a kickback from the electric utility it is also a great way help self storage facilities stand out against the competition. 

    Okay the budget will not allow you to take this step at this time but not to worry you can still help the environment and save money by taking a trip to a home improvement store.  Replace the light bulbs at your self storage facilities with the new fluorescent bulbs and dispose of the old ones properly. You will save costs in the long run and help the environment.  Buy or build bins and start your own recycling center with little to no cost and make it accessible for anyone to use.  This would also generate traffic to your self storage facilities and may inspire some people who had never thought to use self storage before.

    Something else that comes to mind that is cutting edge is to start a community garden if your self storage facilities have the means to do so.  This is really catching on especially in large urban settings because many people who would want a garden cannot do so because of space requirements.  A rooftop garden would be a great addition if your self storage facilities would be able to support it.  If you have a stretch of undeveloped land on your self storage facilities property, create one there.  If both of those ways pose a logistical problem dedicate one of your units and grow plants using hydroponics.  There are many organizations and gardening clubs that are looking for somewhere to operate and would be willing to help with initial costs in exchange for some publicity.  Having something like this would help with self storage marketing and could add to the bottom line of your self storage facilities.  Of course these urban green thumbs would also need a place to store their gardening equipment so renting self storage units would be par for the course.  This would also open up a line for your retail self storage offerings, stock eco-friendly fertilizers and organic treatments.

    Whatever avenue you decide to take it is important to do it early enough that it gives your self storage facilities a leg up on your competition.  It will not be too long before some of this will be part of building codes and ordinances and you may not be prepared to make the change.  Going green now will ensure the sun will always shine on your self storage facilities and on this planet we call home.

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  • Green Ideas For Self Storage
    By admin on January 22, 2008 | 110 Comments110 Comments  Comments

    Here is a simple green design for self storage property managers and it can be defined by one word, reduce. A self storage business can often modify their current practices to reduce the amounts of waste generated by changing the building design, and use of materials or office products. Ask was it really necessary to print that document or making all of those copies? These questions are just the beginning of a superb green design.

    With the use of computers, we can reduce office paper waste by implementing a formal policy to duplex all draft reports, and by making training manuals and personal information available electronically. Think before your print. If that piece of paper is going to end up in the garbage before the end of the business day, that document probably is not worth printing. If an electronic document is worth keeping, file it in a computer documents folder where you can go back and retrieve it. Most self storage business facilities have back up network servers that will keep important documents safe.

    Every office has workers complaining that it is too hot and too cold at the same time. What happens is that the thermostat goes up and down like a seesaw and causes the climate system to work overtime. It is very important to start a green design policy when it comes to the self storage business office climate control. Everyone will survive at 68 degrees in the winter and 74 degrees in the summer. Not only will this keep the energy bill under budget, it saves energy. If the heating or cooling system has trouble maintaining the desired temperature, have a technician check it out. Self storage business employees are unlikely to complain if they know it is the company’s green design policy to keep such temperatures consistent.

    A self storage business can reduce landfill trash by using biodegradable products for events and meetings. Instead of purchasing Styrofoam cups and plates, and plastic utensils, when you are at the grocery store look for biodegradable material. Many food products for serving refreshments with are biodegradable. Biodegradable products include cups, plates, coffee stirrers, and tooth-picks. Keep them stored in the break room storage cabinet for the self storage business employees’ lunches.

    One green design solution to reduce is reuse. There are many things around a self storage business that can be reused instead of being tossed in the trash. Instead of trashing leftover food from the event or meeting, bring it to a homeless shelter. Printed training manuals can be returned and reused for new self storage business employees to use. When it is time to replace office furniture, buy new furniture from a preowned office furniture store. Perhaps your most successful green design strategy will be in the waste reduction of packaging and moving supplies. Ask self storage customers to bring back boxes and moving materials instead of discarding the cardboard in the trash.

    Self storage business customers have many reasons for self storage, but the most common reason is to get rid of the clutter that occupies their homes. Before you know it they decided to trash the clutter during the move to the storage unit. As a green minded self storage business property manager, have a list of charities and recommend one of them instead of the dumpster.

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  • 5 Ways To A Greener Business
    By admin on January 19, 2008 | 93 Comments93 Comments  Comments

    You can bet your shoe storage that during this election year global warming will be a hot topic for debate. Actually, it is a hot topic right now, but you can be sure presidential candidates will use it toward their advantage. Nevertheless, the self storage industry should wait until the end of the elections to start a green design plan for their property. And we should be motivated by government pressure. The environment is everyone’s responsibility. The Earth belongs to us, not the government. So, self storage businesses need to become proactive with a green design for their properties. If you don’t have one it is not too late to start. The Earth is not doomed yet, but if we don’t start thinking green soon, the harder it will be to overcome.

    Here are five things a self storage business can add to their green design plan:

    Light Switch
    Self storage properties should switch to efficient lights like CFLs wherever possible. Change the bulbs in the office and in the storage units to energy efficient CFLs. Motion lighting also cut down energy use. It is important to have outside lighting, but it doesn’t have to be continuously on when the storage property is empty. Reduce energy consumption and utility bills by dimming the interior lights on sunny days. Turning them off is even better and perfect for a green design plan.

    Add Green Money
    Today, most computers and office equipment are available in energy efficient green design models. Whenever purchasing new office equipment make sure it is energy efficient. Not only will you help to protect the environment, you will save the self storage business some dough. Now you can take that extra money and invest it back into the business. In other words, buy something nice for her.

    Innovative Green, A New Paint Color
    New self storage buildings and upgrading old self storage buildings should be designed with a green design in mind. Using energy efficient windows and other construction materials will make a huge difference in energy consumption. Now add innovative climate control and watch the electricity meter’s cranks and gears slow down. Turn the thermostat down another 2 degrees in the winter an up two degrees in the summer.

    Team Green
    Self storage businesses can fight the carbon footprint by renovating work related transportation. Though onsite property management cut down on transportation to and from the storage facility, not everyone has the luxury of zero commute. Carpooling with the employees that must drive is a climate friendly way to get to work. Another green design is to purchase energy efficient property vehicles such as golf carts and hybrid cars.  

    Take Me to Your Green Leader
    A self storage business can take the lead in the fight against global warming by not only pledging their green design, but challenge other industries to taking the pledge.  It’s time for self storage property managers to get out of the back seat and start driving others to implement a green design. Not only will this help the self storage industry image, the environment benefits too.

    Written by Kurt Schellenberger

    Storage Concierge is your premier Storage, Storage Unit, Car Storage, RV Storage, Furniture Storage, Boat Storage, Yacht Storage and Self Storage Finder.

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  • Another Great Green Design Judge
    By admin on December 31, 2007 | 109 Comments109 Comments  Comments

    Here is another one of StoragMarts Build It Green Design Challenge judges.

    Introducing, Ellen Jordheim, Co-Designer for Hinge Collective in Denver, Colorado. Ellen is BSID and IDSA certified and has been creatively involved with Hinge since 2004. Hinge is an industrial design and building firm that is based on the philosophy that good designs improve the quality of life. Each piece of furniture is designed, prototyped and built in house with materials that have a lower impact on the environment.

    If you would information about how to enter the Build It Green Design Challenge, please see the official contest rules.

    Please submit your 200 to 400 description of your design the website to which it is posted to and call Tron for his email and put “green design” in the subject field.

    Entering the Build It Green Design Challenge is a great way for you to get your name and Green ideas out into the self storage community. This will be a chance for publicity and networking to promote your Green self storage construction ideas. Submissions remain the property of the designer so don’t be shy to send your ideas in, we want to share them not keep them. 

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  • How To Recycle
    By admin on December 21, 2007 | 113 Comments113 Comments  Comments

    In a recent publication of Inside Columbia magazine an article was written about the importance of recycling electronics and computer equipment. Computer Xchange a Columbia, Missouri computer business, offers these environmental tips:

    1. Replace older CRT monitors with LCD monitors, LCD monitors will last longer and consume less energy than the CRT monitor.

    2. Recycle your old cell phones and pagers. Many of these items contain hazardous waste, so they should not be thrown away.

    3. Recycle your printer paper, either to reprint on it or a standard recycling bin.

    4. Switch your screen saver to a blank screen to save electricity.

    5. Look for a local computer recycler or refurbisher instead of throwing away

    6. See if your local church or school could use your working computers

    Recycling electronics and cell phones are all a part of the Green ideas that people are talking about. There is more to recycling than just cans, bottles and glass, do some research to see what else you can recycle around your home or business.  Recycling helps keep our landfills clear of material that will not decompose at a normal rate. Do your part to keep the landfills clean of unwanted electronics, computers and cell phones.

    Written by Natalie Thomas, TQAS agent and business blog writer.

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  • The Eel and the Tree
    By admin on December 18, 2007 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    With everyone talking about Green Design, you cannot help but see a few green ideas out there that make you want to scratch your head and say, What?
    There was a blackout at a Tokyo, Japan aquarium but they wanted to light up the Christmas tree. An inventor placed aluminum panels on each side of an electric eels tank so that he could capture its power. Eels are a very popular food item for the country but now they are harnessing the power. Many tourists are coming to see the eel and the Christmas tree.

    A designer in California is building a bike out of bamboo. The design and bike have been winning awards across the country.

    Turning an old water heater into a passive solar water heater, producing enough hot water for two people and saving the emissions of a regular hot water heater produces.

    These are just a few things that I found on the Internet but I am sure that there are many more. There is even a show on TV that has this group of guys traveling around looking for great inventions. Many of these inventions fall into the green category with either the output or the materials the invention uses to power itself.

    Written by Natalie Thomas, TQAS executive and business blog writer.

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  • StorageMart Green Design Judge From Canada
    By admin on December 14, 2007 | No Comments  Comments

    Here is another StorageMart Build It Green Design Challenge Judge.

    Please welcome Mr. Phillip Allan, President of Apple Self Storage. Phil is a very busy self storage owner along with his brothers Scott and Jeff. Apple self storage opened their first location of 4th generation self storage starting in 1999. Currently Apple self storage has grown to 12 locations with almost a million feet of storage space. Apple self storage companies are located throughout Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Starting this year they have divested itself of a number is its locations and has since re-started the growth with a number of new starts and purchases.

    The Apple model is to either build from greenfields, create quality product from conversions or straight up acquisitions. Modern technology and maintaining strong vendor and staff relationships has created a wonderful environment from which Apple is basing the future. Apple also is aware of their responsibility to decrease its carbon footprint and to act responsibly in new and acquired facilities.

    Cheers, from Phil.

    Compiled by Natalie Thomas, TQAS executive.

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  • Being Green Pro-Active
    By admin on December 13, 2007 | 4 Comments4 Comments  Comments

    All this talk about Going Green lately has seemed to open the flood gates for conversation and topics. The idea of Going Green is not a new idea and is sometimes a topic that involves environmental awareness can sometimes take on different names. We have all heard of Global Warming, Air pollution, Water pollution, Ozone and Greenhouse effect are just some of the names for issues that are affecting our planet right now. Some people go through life not worrying about what their individual environmental impact is on the world while the other extreme goes out of their way to recycle, reduce, reuse, and rescue to save the planet. At this time we all can’t live off the grid and grow and make our own food, fuel, clothing and pure water. But, we can take small steps to help our future have the same and better life on planet Earth. Large corporations, self storage sites, cities, towns and businesses are taking the initiative to help make environmental awareness more pro active. Once the damage is done to the environment it will be even more difficult to change the adverse effects and reactions. If we can prevent some of the damage from happening, we can help keep our planet stronger and healthier, Green style.

    Written by Natalie Thomas, TQAS executive.

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  • Green At Christmas
    By admin on December 12, 2007 | 238 Comments238 Comments  Comments

    For New Yorkers, the Christmas holiday season begins with the unveiling of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. This season is no exception; however, the iconic Christmas tree has taken on more meaning by symbolizing the awareness of environmental consciousness.

    The green initiatives demonstrated in this year’s Tree include installing an Ice Storage plant that will reduce energy used during peak periods and is powered by energy purchased from wind generated facilities, using 30,000 LED energy-saving bulbs to light up the Tree and hand cutting the tree in order to reduce energy use. The equivalent of all these green practices is equal to removing over 300 cars off the road each year or planting 450 acres of trees.

    The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree isn’t the first to use ice as a cooling system. The idea of using blocks of ice to cool rooms can be traced back to the 1800’s when a Floridian physician blew air over buckets of ice to cool hospital rooms.

    Looking for green technology sometimes means looking back rather than forward and taking the time to find the efficiencies that history has to offer.

    What could be more fitting than the world’s most famous evergreen symbolizing the Christmas season and environmental awareness?

    Written by Sarah Little, TQA Director

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  • StorageMart Green Design Contest Panel Of Judges
    By admin on December 4, 2007 | 118 Comments118 Comments  Comments

    StorageMart Green Design Contest has announced their panel of judges. If you are not familiar with the StorageMart Green Design Contest then please read on. The StorageMart Green Design Contest is a contest to gather and showcase ideas on how to make designing more Green. Designer is asked to submit their ideas to Tron Jordheim, director of PhoneSmart. (Specific rules about the contest are posted on previous blogs; please refer to them for official details about how to post your ideas)

    The StorageMart Green Design Contest judges are as follows:

    Phil Allan
    Dave Cramer
    Gary Debode
    Bob Francis
    Paul Fried
    Shelley Geiler
    Ellen Jordheim
    Jim Moita
    Paul Nuthcer
    Jim Whitesides

    These judges come to the StorageMart Green Design Contest with many talents, views, education, life experience and they all have the desire to see more Green designs put into our world. Some of these judges have had their bios showcased already on this blog; stay tuned for the remainder of the judges to be showcased. We would like to Thank each judges in advance for their time and interest in this important topic of environmental support.

    StorageMart is prime provider of self storage across America and now locations in Canada. If you need self storage that has great property management, call StorageMart for all you self storage needs. StorageMart has Illinois Self Storage Units, Georgia Self Storage units, Florida Self Storage units and more.

    Compiled and written by Natalie Thomas, TQAS executive.

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