Visit a Public Garden in the Sky: NYC’s High Line

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  What to do with unused rail tracks 30 feet above ground in New York City… Oh, what to do? If you’re a passionate New Yorker, you’ll save the tracks from demolition and turn them into a unique park! That unique park goes by the name High Line, a public space owned by New York, and operated by Friends of the High Line, the group of passionate New Yorkers that helped save the tracks. Located high above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line was built on a freight rail line that opened in 1934. The project was meant to eliminate the accidents that occurred between freight … [More]

Rooftop Gardens Provide Beauty and Green Benefits

New York City's High Line. Photo by David Berkowitz

  I love cities, but sometimes they can be a bit lacking in green spaces. That’s one of the reasons I like rooftop gardens. When you can’t plant in the ground, why not plant on your roof? Rooftop gardens can be created using containers, or planted directly on the roof using a waterproof membrane, insulation and a root barrier. Rooftop gardens have been popular for a long time in Europe, and in recent years they’re also popping up in the U.S. Extra Space Storage’s Rooftop Garden The Extra Space Storage facility at 8301 River Road in North Bergen, New Jersey contains a rooftop garden featuring several shrubs, grasses … [More]

Motion Sensors Have a Place at Home Too

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  I’ve decided to allow technology to eliminate some parental nagging duties for me. No, I’m not talking about texting chore reminders. I’m referring to the usage of motion sensors to control indoor lighting. As many parents have probably experienced, kids don’t always remember to turn lights off when they exit a room. Even with frequent reminders, some kids still opt to leave the lights on. That bad habit can waste a lot of energy in rooms that aren’t frequently used.   A solution I’ve adopted in my house is the installation of motion sensors (or occupancy sensors) that take the place of regular light switches. I’ve discussed how motion … [More]

Sustainable Eating With Meatless Mondays

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  Interested in eating more sustainably, but don’t know how? What about going meatless once a week? Of everything we eat, meat is the biggest offender. Raising livestock is a much more intensive endeavor than growing plants. It takes massive amounts of food, water, land, and energy to grow and transport the animals that become your favorite burgers and sausages. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, producing meat contributes more to climate change than the transportation sector. Cows, pigs, and the like produce nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to reduce your carbon footprint. There’s a movement … [More]

Start A Green Habit to Honor Earth Day 2013

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  Celebrated each year on April 22, Earth Day is a good time to make a new commitment to do your part for the earth. I know that some people scoff at the idea that a single day can make any kind of difference, but “Earth Day” is a misleading name. It’s not a single day to think about the earth. Rather, Earth Day is your reminder to make a commitment to help the earth throughout the year. That’s how I think of it! If you observe Earth Day 2013, you certainly won’t be alone. According to earthday.org, more than one billion people around the world are expected to … [More]

Making the Switch to Interior LED Lighting

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The switch is on! Many consumers, have started looking at their lighting a bit differently these last few years, and we have too. The incandescent bulb was inexpensive to buy, but wasn’t cheap to run, and didn’t last long. CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are a step up since they use less energy and last longer than incandescent lights. Yet, LED (light-emitting diode) technology offers even more energy savings and much greater longevity. So, I’m pleased to tell you that Extra Space Storage has taken the first step in the switch to interior LED lighting!   Putting Interior LED Lighting to the Test We’ve added LED lighting from US … [More]

Pinterest Favorites: Sustainability at Home

Organic blue potatoes image from The Maine Potato Lady

  I care about reducing waste and doing my part at home to help the environment, but with three energetic sons, I don’t have a lot of time to read multiple blogs and magazines for green living tips. So, I look to Pinterest as a quick way to find sustainability tips I can live with. From cooking to gardening to cleaning, there’s a lot to know when you’re trying to reduce your impact, but I’ve gathered some fun resources for you below. I hope these Pinterest pages help you in your quest to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle!   Cooking Get busy making your own beet chips and … [More]

Managing What’s Inside: Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing

Photo via Anton Fomkin, flickr

  We’re proud of our energy-saving projects like solar panel installation, but what’s at the very heart of facilities management is MEP, or mechanical, electrical and plumbing. That stuff inside properties that makes them tick, the MEP, is always top-of-mind for me when it comes to saving energy. So, I want to share what we’ve been up to with MEP. We’ve made improvements to the MEP systems of our properties in the past, and we kept that going last year. In 2012, we analyzed an additional 119 properties from an MEP standpoint, and made improvements where necessary to lower our impact on the environment and save money.   Mechanical: … [More]

Moving Forward with Solar Power in 2013

Photo by Alan Light

  We’ve been busy the last few years adding solar power to more than 100 properties in six states. And 2013 is full of bright promise for much more solar power activity! With careful analysis, we continue to make the best choices about where to add solar power. This year, we expect to invest about $15 million to add solar panels to around 40 to 50 additional properties. As we move forward in 2013, Extra Space Storage continues to grow into an even more sustainable company with these additional solar power installations, as well as other sustainability projects.   Powering New York with Solar What’s different about our solar progress in 2013 is … [More]

Favorite Sustainability Infographics of 2012

from One Block Off the Grid's 9 Surprising Things about People Who Go Solar infographic

  We’re all in love with infographics, it seems. Often, we don’t have a choice when we view billboards, television commercials or other forms of advertising, but a lot of us seek out infographics. We even click on them to make them larger! I don’t understand all of the psychology behind the popularity of infographics, but I do know that not all infographics are created equally.   For me to consider an infographic as wonderful, it has to do a few things:   Present sources. I don’t want to guess where the info came from. Be easy to read. If I have to strain to read it, forget … [More]