What have you done with your land that is different than the typical dealership?
|The only green you'll find at most dealerships
is a weed poking through the asphalt. Planet Subaru, one of the largest
Subaru dealerships on the planet, is situated on almost 11 acres. From
Route 53, Planet
Subaru looks more like a country club than a car dealership. We even
hardy grass and wildflowers that never require any watering, fertilizer,
pesticides, or herbicides. See our facility photo gallery. It's hard to imagine another dealership that can serve organic apples grown right on the property!|
Do you really landscape with goats and sheep?
Is Planet the world's first Subaru showroom powered entirely by the sun?
Yes! We installed a 78,540-watt solar power plant on the roof our building. The Planet Power Plant comprises 374 solar panels, and occupies about a quarter acre of our roof. It powers our entire showroom: lights, computers, monitors, phones, fax machines, photocopiers, refrigerators, coffee makers...everything currently powered by burning fossil fuels. Are we crazy? Probably. Read all about it.
What environmental awards have you won?
How about the "eco-nomics"--does your commitment to the environment mean your prices are higher?
|In total, our efforts are expense neutral. We use savings in some areas to offset extra cost in others. It's true that some things we do just cost more---recycling our car wash water, for example, is more expensive (see picture to the left). However, our xeriscape (hardy grass and wildflowers) saves us a fortune in sprinkler infrastructure, water, fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and grass cutting. One of the unfair raps on the environmental movement is that respecting Mother Nature is bad for business. Every day we are proving that environmental responsibility can be good for business. Over the long term, there will be no economy if we don't take sensible action now. Learn about why we work so hard to respect Mother Nature.|
How does your recycling commitment exceed that of the typical dealership?
First of all, we recycled the entire building. When we bought the property, we worked with the existing structure rather than tearing it down and starting over.
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- We shred/recycle all our paper, enough to save twenty trees a year, according to our shredder.
- We recycle various metals, including cans, barrels, and auto parts
- We recycle cardboard and reuse (or re-purpose) wooden shipping pallets
- We recycle our car wash water
- We use non-toxic steel wheel weights (instead of cheaper lead) when we balance tires
to its dealerships. We find homes on craigslist for the pallets that Jamie doesn't use.
The typical dealership just throws these pallets in the dumpster because it's easier to do that.
What's special about Planet's lighting?
We are in the process of replacing nearly all of our indoor and outdoor lighting, including our signs, with the most advanced LEDs available. They last many times longer, use a lot less power, and use fewer chemicals than the fluorescent bulbs they replace.
What do you do with trade-ins that are the end of their lives?
We donate cars to the Special Olympics, and facilitate the donations by customers of hundreds more. Their recycler drains all the fluids, disassembles the vehicles, sells useful parts, and recycles the rest. (Plus, our customers get a tax deduction, and the Special Olympics uses the proceeds to fund their good work.)
How do you conserve water?
We partnered with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) to reduce our water usage by 23%. Now we're saving over 40,000 gallons per year. Pictured with our Greeter, Blue, is one of our new low-flow toilets that uses only one gallon per flush.
We have a lot of land at Planet Subaru, much of it undeveloped. We planted a couple acres near our rain garden with wildflowers, including Oxeye Sunflowers, Asters, Purple Coneflowers, Wild Bergamots, and topped it all off with a little Tinklegrass because we thought the name was funny. These plantings support many species of bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Other wild critters such as coyotes, foxes, and turkeys also make an appearance from time to time.
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- Understand our environmental aspirations.
- Learn more about what you can do to green your commercial building.