Brightening Our Exterior and Saving Energy with LED

    It may be true that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, but with lighting, what’s on the outside is important too. I’m very pleased with the lighting improvements we’ve completed at Extra Space Storage. Not only have we made our lighting more energy efficient in hallways, storage units and other interior areas, we’ve also tackled exterior lighting. When you approach our retrofitted Extra Space Storage facilities, you may not notice the energy savings that’s quietly taking place, but our exterior LED lighting is saving us money and reducing our energy consumption, which benefits the environment.   Kicking out the Energy Hogs Our exterior lights are … [More]

Saving Energy: De-lamping, Because it’s Brighter than You Think

  I’m a believer in taking only as much as you need. Why pile your plate full of carrots and celery at the salad bar if you aren’t going to eat it all? I suppose we end up with spare veggies because of good intentions. The same can be said of lighting.  For safety, it’s important to have a properly lit environment, but sometimes we all go a bit overboard and install more lighting than is actually needed. That’s where de-lamping comes in. It’s all about achieving long-term energy savings by getting rid of unnecessary lights without compromising safety.   What is De-lamping? While it may sound like a strange … [More]

Sustainability Report Cards: A+ Idea or a Fail?

I believe that after completing school, some of us still crave the old report card. Or perhaps just those of us who made good grades miss report cards? Sure, you may receive an employee review, sometimes accompanied by a bonus for a job well done. Other times, independent organizations create grades for us. And that brings me to green ratings systems. No one out there has designed a green rating system specifically for giving grades for sustainability of self-storage companies. That may come one day. For now, Extra Space Storage likes to give you our own sustainability updates to let you know how far we’ve traveled down the … [More]

District Managers Drive Hybrid Cars Where They Count Most

  Rural areas are great for many things, like large backyards graced with hammocks and armadillos crossing the road, but I don’t think they’re the best places for hybrid vehicles to have the most impact. While driving a hybrid in a rural or suburban area helps somewhat with gas savings, the car may still create nearly the same amount of pollution as a completely gas-powered car. That’s because generally when hybrid cars are driven at speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour, the internal combustion engine, not the electric motor, typically takes over.   We all know how gasoline-powered engines create carbon emissions, right? Yet, in major metro areas, where … [More]

Tankless Water Heaters: Conversation Killer but Energy Saver

  Some of you may remember the awkward moment on Ashley’s Hebert’s season of The Bachelorette when contestant Ryan Park talked about tankless water heaters on what turned out to be his final date with Ashley. Though that topic of conversation seemed to be the nail in the coffin, he did bring up some good points. (Go to minute 6:20 to watch the drama unfold)   A traditional gas-fired storage-tank water heater uses natural gas to heat water. As the water temperature drops, the system kicks on the heat to bring it back up to the appropriate level. This is an ongoing process – always happening whether you … [More]

Brightening up Storage with Solar Muscle

  You might have heard that Extra Space Storage is going green. So, I’m trying not to hit you over the head with a big green bat, but I’m excited to tell you more about our progress with solar power. As the second-largest self-storage company in the U.S. with facilities in 34 states, we take our commitment to sustainable energy seriously, as you’ve probably figured out.   See the Power in our Infographic Last year, we created a solar power infographic to help shareholders, customers and all interested eyes visualize our journey down the bright solar path. You can take a look at it here. Since we created … [More]

Digging Ourselves Out from More Trash Than Ever

  Let’s talk trash. Err, that’s municipal solid waste, but I prefer simply calling it trash. Have you wondered about the trash generation rates of today compared to the last 30 years? How about the recycling rates?   I can’t tell you about the trash of 2012, or even 2011, but the EPA has examined the trash generation and recycling rates of Americans for 2010.  And guess what? Americans are recycling more now than ever, but we’re also generating more trash to be recycled!   Here’s the breakdown for trash generated and percentage recycled: In 1980, Americans generated 151.6 million tons of trash, and recycled and composted just … [More]

Energy Efficiency Initiatives at Extra Space Storage

  Keeping track of almost 900 self storage facilities nationwide, I’m so busy it sometimes seems like I’m bouncing around like a beach volleyball in the Olympic Games! Yet, it’s nice to take a moment to set back, enjoy a long deep, breath, and take stock of accomplishments. At Extra Space Storage, we’ve come a long way toward being more sustainable as a company. In keeping with our commitment to corporate responsibility with energy management, we’ve implemented several sustainability programs in the last few years.   Our major initiatives are the energy efficient programs we’ve installed in the majority of our ~900 properties. These include a variety of … [More]

Green Warm Fuzzies and Other Thoughts on Sustainability

Some Background About Me (Brent Hardy) and Extra Space Storage When I started working at Extra Space Storage 11 years ago, we had an impressive 40 facilities and about 200 employees. Now, numbering more than 870 facilities to date, we have more than 2,000 employees across the nation. I’ve seen some transformational growth that has kept me engaged, interested, and frankly extremely busy!   My Take on Corporate Sustainability As you might imagine, Extra Space Storage is an aggressive company and we work hard to make a product that works for our customers and our shareholders.  My focus on facility management ranges from planning capital expenditures to daily … [More]

Three Big Things to Help the Earth

  Three things most of us do each day have a big impact on the earth. I’m talking about eating, flipping a light switch and using water in the bathroom. When it comes to these three areas, you can reduce your impact on the earth by making some simple choices with big environmental benefits.   Consider Where Your Food is Grown Transportation of food is a giant contributor of greenhouse gases. At your grocery store, look for a sticker or sign that tells you where the produce was grown, and encourage the manager to buy food grown closer to where you live. At the farmer’s market, develop a … [More]