One of the reasons why Apple is able to ensure that their data centers are green is because these data centers are usually built from ground up by Apple, and in a location far away and usually isolated. This is compared to Apple Stores which are usually part of a mall or in the middle of a city where it might not be as convenient to go green.
About a week ago, Apple’s VP of Environmental Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, mentioned that Apple could be interested in their retail stores being powered by renewable energy in the future, but admitted that it would be tricky. However in Japan it looks like Apple is working towards that, or at least trying to be as green as they can for now.
As you can see in the photo above (courtesy of Mac Otakara), it shows a green curtain of thick vines that covers an entire side of the Apple Store. It is unclear if other parts of the store will be given the same treatment since the construction tarps are covering up the rest of the construction, with the store expected to be ready by the end of June.
Given that Apple will be relying on a lot of glass for their store, it could mean that during the day, it would cause the store to heat up, which in turn would mean that more energy is required to keep the place cool. By introducing a thick curtain of vines, it will help block out the sunlight, thus keeping the store relatively cool, and being environmentally friendly all at once.
It’s an interesting idea, although we guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether this “green curtain” will really help Apple to cut down on the amount of power that they have to consume in order to keep the store up and running.