Baltimore is Rolling Forward with Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Nissan Leaf Photo from Nissan.com

  The City of Baltimore is taking seriously its role in helping residents lower their carbon footprint by providing several electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The charging stations are part of the ChargePoint network that’s helping the world travel even further with their EVs.   And the really great thing for drivers of EVs in Baltimore is that charging is free in any of the nine city-owned parking garages.   All drivers have to do is pay to park in the garage. Charging up for free while shopping or dining? Not a bad deal!   But will EV drivers in Baltimore have to wait in line to charge? According to … [More]

Houston’s Discovery Green is a Model for Urban Parks

Photo from Discovery Green

  Find yourself in Discovery Green in downtown Houston, Texas, and you may start wondering why every large city in the U.S. doesn’t have such a fun, useful, environmentally awesome, and downright creative use of fallow city land. Fallow? Well, yes, the land that is now home to Discovery Green was once an empty parking lot surrounded by some green space close to the George R. Brown Convention Center. It wasn’t accomplishing a whole lot.     Now, that former parking lot is home to Discovery Green, a 12-acre park featuring so much good stuff! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this unique park: Gateway Fountain, … [More]

They’re Building a Green Dallas

green-dallas

  There’s no question that the city of Dallas, Texas cares about being green. Just take a look at the city’s “Green Dallas” website with the tagline, “building a greener city.” Dallas is doing several things to encourage residents to be more environmentally friendly, including: Making Recycling Easy The “Too Good to Throw Away” recycling program uses single-stream recycling, eliminating the need for sorting. Plus, residents have plenty of room for recyclables with their large 96-gallon recycling rollcarts. Taking the Mystery out of Composting Dallas residents are invited to learn the science of backyard composting with free classes offered each month. Leading by Example with Certified Green City … [More]

Make Your Sprinkler System Smart. Add a Rain Sensor.

rainwater-sensors

  Have you ever driven by a house or business with sprinklers running during a rain shower? Yeah, I’m guessing you have! When I see that, I want to get out of my car and stop that superfluous flow of water on the landscaping.   You can let your sprinkler system know when Mother Nature has provided enough water without its help. It’s simple: Use a rain sensor.   We hear a lot about smartphones these days, but rain sensors are a way to make your sprinkler system smart too!   In my efforts to conserve water I’m testing a newer device called an RSD rain sensor at   … [More]

The Critical Step in Making the Business Case for Commercial Solar

Mini Storage, Storage Facility, Storage Unit, Mini Storage

It can be intimidating to begin the process of convincing the decision-makers at your business that it’s time to add solar power. However, as someone who’s gone through the process, I can tell you that if you’re successful, the end results are well worth it!   So, how do you begin? That’s a good question with a long answer. I’ve noticed that several websites, such as Triple Pundit and Green Impact, have recently published summaries of a new white paper that covers five steps to take in order to make your case for solar. The free white paper, created by Alta Energy, is called “Making the Business Case … [More]

Water Saving Tips to Slow the Flow of H2O

Storage FAcility, Storage Unit, Mini Storage, Self Storage

  This summer was so HOT! I saw rain only two times throughout the summer. This wasn’t the case just in Utah (where I live) but all over the US. Our nation is facing a devastating drought, which is affecting the economy and our everyday lives. It’s up to us to do our part to reduce our consumption of water. I was in the shower the other morning and read the following message on my shampoo bottle: “Did you know that your family could save up to $150 and 3,200 gallons of water per year by turning off the water when you shampoo and condition?” What a simple … [More]

Q&A with a Justin Krum A Solar Power Brainiac

Extra Space Storage

I recently had the opportunity to talk solar with Justin Krum, President and CEO of 1st Light Energy, our partner for solar installations. With 1st Light Energy, Extra Space Storage has completed nearly 100 solar installations at our storage properties in six states. With these solar panels, 1st Light Energy has helped us not only save energy, but also lower our operating costs. And we’re adding even more solar panels as you read this!   Justin wants to help others realize that solar energy puts more choices in the hands of homeowners and business owners. Consumers really don’t have to completely rely on utility companies for power! In … [More]

Bright Idea: Better Light with Less Energy Usage

sunshine-natural-daylight

  Saving energy is always a smart concept, but when you can do it and have better lighting in the process, that’s a bright idea! I recently told you about the energy-efficiency lighting improvements on the exterior of retrofitted properties, so now it’s time to take a look inside at some bright lighting solutions implemented at Extra Space Storage.   Transitioning to Brighter, More Efficient Lights Most of our lighting output takes place in hallways, so it’s important to get that right. During retrofits, we replace the T12 magnetic ballast lights in hallways with T8 lights, which operate with an electronic ballast. The change is significant – we’re … [More]

How Solar is Powering Extra Space Storage

The solar panels at Extra Space Storage’s North Bergen New Jersey Facility.

  Sometimes good enough just isn’t good enough anymore. When I reflect on my job before we started adding solar power to facilities at Extra Space Storage, it was good. Now that I’m part of a nationwide solar power initiative, I feel that the sustainability work by Extra Space Storage is more than good. It’s amazing. But let’s back up just a bit from the amazing phase.   Before we started adding solar power to storage facilities in 2010, our investors often asked me what we were doing to take care of the environment. (They still ask me this today, but now I have a better answer!) Our … [More]

Daylight Harvesting – Better for the Environment, Better for You!

Extra Space Storage facilities use expansive windows instead of traditional walls to harvest daylight.

  Recently the New York Times reported a compelling fact: “Enough sunlight falls every hour to meet the entire world’s energy needs for one year.” That is a lot of essentially free energy  that’s being wasted! This presents an opportunity to find ways to use the sun and its energy to decrease our impact on the earth’s natural resources. One way of doing this is using the sun to naturally light our homes and work spaces. Research and studies have proven there are many benefits of daylight. These benefits include: Energy conservation Increased productivity Lifting of spirits Spaces appear larger Improved concentration Quickened learning speed At Extra Space … [More]