Just because an enterprise is in the fossil fuel business doesn’t mean it shouldn’t try to reduce hydrocarbon use. I had this demonstrated to me when I wrote about a net-zero gas station near Portland, Oregon in 2012.
The Chevron station there is a reconstruction of a pre-existing gas-pumping/convenience store facility. My article follows the step-by-step process used by Meng-Hannan Construction, explaining both the decommissioning of old fuel systems and how to prevent toxic leaks that might occur in future flood or seismic events. Those are the things most people do not see; what’s a bit more evident (from a higher-up perspective) are the solar panels and rooftop vegetation that capture sun and rain. In addition, a geothermal well runs under the gas station.
Photo: Other green gas stations exist elsewhere, including the semi-famous, architecturally-arresting Helios House on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, which is LEED certified. Some environmental advocates argue that recognition of petroleum retailers for eco-friendly details is greenwashing; I say all innovation and experimentation is worthy of attention and study. One can safely assume drivers of motor vehicles understand their gasoline use is not ideal. In progressive communities such as Portland and Los Angeles, motorists' migration to fuel-efficient cars and trucks often parallels their interest in fuel-efficient homes and commercial structures.
Russ Klettke went car-free in 2014, now transporting himself by bike, foot, public transportation and a car-share subscription. He also writes about general business topics, the law, manufacturing, fitness, nutrition, real estate and sustainable design. Contact Russ to discuss your communications and writing needs.