A locally owned body shop in Superior Wisconsin has seen the trend towards sustainability. In an effort to stay ahead of competition, they have been working to make their business a little greener.
Len Steltz, the Owner Len's Auto Shop, told me "We started ahead of the game because it was going to be mandatory that we had to change so we figured well, as long as we were making some changes we mine as well do it now."
One thing the company is very proud about is switching all of their paints to water based, instead of solvent based. Water based paints don't emit VOC's or Volatile Organic Compounds, which is a toxic chemical.
"Water born doesn't have any solvent base in it. So for the environment, its cleaner for the environment, we don't put any VOC's out anymore with the water born that we have." said Steltz.
With water based paints the cleanup is also greener, you just need some water, rather than solvents and toxic paint thinners. But Len's didn't stop there, they also reduced their energy usage significantly with energy efficient lighting.
"Saves probably about 80 to 100 bucks a month on electrical cost is what they are figuring on for the year,"says Chad Steltz, "So payback for the program will be short on it. It will help also by cutting down on the energy that we are consuming here."
During the cold winter months it takes a lot of energy to heat the garage, so they found a way to re–use excess heat already being made.
"We also have a screw–drive air compressor, and the air compressor throws out heat, so we have the heat vented back into our shop so it heats the shop at the same time instead of just sending it outside." said Chad Steltz.
Len's Auto Body shop hopes to expand their business soon and also expand their sustainable practices as they become available.
Meteorologist Adam Lorch