When you're looking for a storage facility (like Belmont Self Storage), finding an environmentally friendly one is a big plus. But when you're estimating and comparing the "green" factor of each facility, you need to be able to compare the environmentally friendly aspects directly so you can determine which companies are having the biggest environmentally friendly effect. Here are three of the biggest factors a self-storage facility should be "greening."
Solar-powered self-storage is becoming more and more common, but it's not a necessity. A "green" building can alternatively use power derived from another renewable source such as wind, water, or geothermal energy. Solar energy is still a good option, though; but be careful not to get taken in by facilities that claim to be "green" when their only concession to the environment is solar energy. It's better than nothing, but a truly responsible company will be "greening" many other aspects of the building as well. For example, energy-efficient lighting should also be used. Other ways energy can be conserved in a green self-storage facility include:
- Using sufficient insulation to reduce the need for heating and cooling
- Using automatic lighting equipped with motion sensors
- Using a light-colored roof to reduce the workload for AC systems
In addition to reducing AC workload, a cool roof can also help diminish the global warming effect produced by the city (known as the "urban heat island effect"). This effect raises city temperatures several degrees beyond what they ought to be, which is dangerous not only for the local ecosystem (and any nearby ecosystems where water runoff ends up) but also for inhabitants of the city, who are then more susceptible to heat-related illnesses during the summer. In addition to selecting a light-colored roof, an environmentally responsible facility can also take the following roof-related measures:
- Using a "cool roof" coating to cool the roof even more
- Selecting a recycled and recyclable roofing material
- Installing solar panels on the roof or developing a "green roof" to shade the building from sun and manage storm water
3. Packing materials
A facility that's taking responsibility for its environmental impact will be very concerned about things like plastic packing peanuts and throwing packing materials in the landfill. The company may take steps such as:
- Re-using or upcycling cardboard packing boxes
- Sourcing boxes made of recycled material
- Providing shredded paper or biodegradable packing peanuts for packing
- Encouraging or facilitating used material recycling
Use these three major factors to determine which self-storage companies and facilities are truly the most eco-friendly. And remember to do your part by re-using and recycling your packing materials!