An article researched and published by the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences determined through a study of Denmark that people who raised and made use of Greenspace in their community were 55% less likely to develop psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety. We don't need to look at the research to see how Greenspace makes our lives better. Greenspaces aren't where we work. They are where we play. Greenspace means socializing, exercise, higher air quality, decreased noise and generally less overstimulation.
Looking at Green Space through the lens of the self storage industry, it's easy to imagine how adding Green to your storage facility site will make customers feel different about visiting your facility. Traditionally, self storage facilities have a reputation of being cold, isolated and somewhat unnerving. If throwing up a tree and planting some grass is all you have to do to boost psychological restoration for your customers and employees, the biggest question I would ask is, "why not?"
First question you will undoubtedly ask is, “how much is commercial landscaping for my self storage facility?” According to the Hecht Group, "...it can cost between $5,000 and $75,000 for commercial landscaping." Now considering that most self-storage facilities consist of concrete and metal for the most part, we can safely assume that commercial landscaping will land on the low end of the cost spectrum. If you're looking into commercial landscaping companies that will work on your site regularly to perform basic upkeep, the recurring cost for basics like mowing and trimming will likely be between $800 to $1600 per acre, per month, according to an article from HomeGuide entitled Commercial lawn care cost.
So now that you know the general cost, it's time to focus on the benefits of adding Greenspace to your self storage facility site, and the positive impact it will have on new and existing customers, employees and your own well-being.
Did you know that Greenspace plays a role in helping with rapid healing and recovery from illness? In a study from Texas A&M, researcher Roger Ulrich discovered that patients in hospital rooms facing outdoor Greenspace had fewer post-surgical complications, relied less on painkillers, and remained in the hospital a shorter time than patients without a view. Recent studies of residents of the Netherlands in Japan have shown access to Greenspaces results in overall better health and significantly lower mortality rates.
Greenspaces like parks offer activities like biking, rafting or even bird watching, which are great ways to connect with fellow hobbyists and the general public alike. Green places tend to be universally attractive and therefore results in increased social connections between people of different backgrounds and socio-economic stratas. Even if your Greenspace is primarily used as a place to take cigarette breaks, you've still created an opportunity for people to gather and connect.
Greenspaces offer the opportunity to bolster curiosity about our natural world and our connection to it. For example, my favorite activity in New York City is eating breakfast and watching pigeons. Watching the mating practices of pigeons in New York has encouraged me to research pigeons and pigeon lifestyle in almost every city I visit across the globe. We've even implemented a standing “Pigeon Thursday,” where my partner and I share pigeon facts with each other over dinner! It's admittedly a little nerdy, but I can truly thank the few Greenspaces in New York for a lifelong interest in a subject outside of my realm of knowledge!
Studies have shown that employees with access or view of Greenspaces are far more productive then desk employees who are isolated without a view. While self-storage facilities typically don't have a large group of employees, they do deal with the same issues of employee reliability and staffing shortages. If a garden or a few trees is what it takes to give your managers and customers peace of mind and promote productivity, it's an investment well worth committing to.
Greenspaces are proven to drive tourism and generate income for nearby businesses. Typically public Greenspaces can be set up for ecotourism, create jobs, and create places to put on outdoor events like festivals, markets or concerts. Many self-storage owners would be glad of a way to use their unused acreage in a responsible and economical way. For more information on different creative ways to make more green, using your self storage property, check out our previous article here. For more information on eco-friendly practices in your self storage facility.
It's well known that Greenspaces help combat climate change, but did you know that trees and grass absorb carbon from the atmosphere and help regulate the climate? This is especially important in urban areas, as a small amount of Green Space can drastically improve air quality and water quality. Greenspace is also great for conservation as more and more animal habitats are overrun by urban sprawl. In my hometown a local concert venue chose to adapt their design to leave Greenspace which is preserved for a family of urban rabbits who have been living in that square block of land since before the city was built. The rabbits have become a tourist attraction in their own right, and stand as a shining beacon of dedication to real conservation - and helping to create lots of eco-friendly marketing taglines for the venue.
I've seen an increasing amount of road rage since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Drivers are exhausted, angry, fearful and stressed. According to studies, roadside greenery and parkway architecture plays a huge role in lowering drivers hostility and fear resulting in safer and more conscientious drivers. Customers coming to self-storage facilities are more often than not driving large moving trucks, or their personal cars or SUVs loaded with treasures. Not only does Greenspace go pretty far to reduce stress, there's nothing that will slow down a driver faster than an immovable tree. Consider using trees and bushes to soften otherwise stressful driving areas, but remember to keep Greenery trimmed regularly to avoid creating invisible or blind spots for drivers.
According to the EPA, the urban heat island effect strikes urban areas with higher temperatures. Buildings, roads and infrastructure absorb and radiate the sun's heat in a way that more natural landscapes don't. The more highly concentrated the structures are in urban areas the more intense these islands of heat become. You've probably noticed at your self storage facility that on the concrete and out on the site it can be a bit hotter than in more open areas. Adding Greenspace to your self storage facility will reduce the impact of the urban heat island effect on your facility making it a more pleasant place to visit.
Did you know that Greenspaces are actually proven to reduce crime? In a study out of Chicago of 98 apartment complexes showed that crime was cut by half after Greenspaces were added. (For more information about the self storage market in Chicago, read on!) In addition they saw a reduction in the amount of graffiti and vandalism, and residents reported a reduced amount of stress and anxiety when they arrived home. If vandalism or theft are an issue at your self storage facility, or if you just want to head it off before it begins, Greenspaces are proven to be an excellent way to start reducing your risk of being a victim of a crime.
Voluntary attention is the effort and focus we put in to ignore distractions and focus on work. Involuntary attention is effortless awareness of your environment, and it's proven to promote mental health and make concentration on tasks easier. Throughout the history of human evolution, those people and animals who were aware of, and interacted seamlessly with their natural environment, also ate better, slept better, and in general were safer and more productive.
One only needs to look at the natural progression of human evolution to see what a big role Greenspace plays in our mental and physical health and in our relationship with our environment. As self storage facility owners and operators this is exactly the type of feel we want to cultivate with our customers. After all they're trusting us with their precious storable treasures! Investing in Greenspace is one of the best ways you can show customers that you care about their well-being, and you care about the well-being of your facility and all those who visit it.
For more information on easy ways to please customers and make more money in the Self Storage industry, please visit our Radius+ blog for tips, tricks and Self Storage insights from the experts.
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