Art’s Cyclery Goes Green

The view from the parking lot outside our retail store in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Like most bike shops, all of our employees ride. We have a diverse staff ranging from professional roadies to dirt-jumpers. But we all love to pedal and have a deep appreciation for the outdoor playgrounds we frequent. This admiration for the environment is evidenced by our eco-friendly business philosophy and infrastructure that lessens our  overall environmental footprint.

We currently share our warehouse and retail space with several other businesses in the Sports Warehouse family including Tennis Warehouse, Running Warehouse and Tackle Warehouse. Sports Warehouse was honored with a Green Award in 2009 by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. Here’s a look at a few of the practices that earned the award:

Geothermal Heat Pump System

The 100,000-square-foot facility we operate out of was retrofitted with a geothermal energy system that uses heat from the earth to assist in heating and cooling the building. The temperature of the Earth holds constant between 50 and 60 degrees almost everywhere at levels 10 feet beneath the surface.  By tapping into this constantly moderate temperature, we are able to control the building temperature year-round with minimal energy consumption.

A look at the drilling process in the parking lot to set up our geothermal energy system.

Beneath the parking lot we drilled 40 holes that are each 300-feet deep.  Each hole has a piped loop for our geothermal system.  The loops feed water through the pipes where they acclimatize to the ground temperature.  As the water comes back to the surface, the heat pump draws the heat from the water.  That means the HVAC system is always starting at about 55 degrees.  If we need to cool the building, then our HVAC system carries the 55 degree air through the ducts and the compressors receive less demand to keep the air cool.  When we need to heat the building, the system draws that 55 degree air and the heaters use less energy to maintain the comfortable working environment.

Recycling Efforts

We bale and recycle more than 30,000 pounds of used cardboard every month! We also try to re-use packing materials and have recycling bins in every office. Bottles and cans from the break rooms are cashed in and the money is donated to local schools.

Energy Consumption

All the light fixtures and bulbs in the building are energy efficient and equipped with occupancy sensors. Solar tubes in the offices, hallways and restrooms offer great natural light during the day-time.  These skylights allow office personnel to work effectively without having the lights on during the day. Low-consumption toilets cut back on excessive water usage and well water is used for landscaping

A huge number of employees commute to work and Sports Warehouse supports that by providing an abundance of bike racks. As our business continues to grow, we will continue to take steps to lessen our environmental impact by hopefully installing solar panels to increase our sustainability.