As an environmentally conscious consumer, you've probably spent some time trying to green your lifestyle, perhaps by using less water or installing efficient appliances. But have you thought about the environmental impact of the stored items you're not using? Here are some eco-friendly tips for storing your belongings.
1. Reduce: With a Storage Container
For any storage items that don't require controlled temperature and humidity levels, an outdoor storage container can be the perfect eco-friendly storage solution. It provides storage outside your home but in a spot that's immediately accessible from your house.
Storage containers can be an eco-friendly solution because you don't use energy to heat and cool them, allowing you to save electricity and fossil fuel each day when compared to a climate-controlled storage unit. In addition, you can reduce your gas usage because you don't have to drive there and back every time you want to access your belongings.
Appropriate items for a storage container may include:
- Gardening tools and supplies such as pots, shovels, gloves, and hoses
- Seasonal lawn decor such as outdoor holiday lights, reindeer, and garden gnomes
- Outdoor furniture such as lawn chairs
- Bird feeders, garden fountains, and other fixtures
- Kitchen items such as glassware, dishes, and (empty) food storage containers
- Bathroom decor such as shower curtains, soap dishes, and bath mats
- Other non-sensitive things such as cleaning tools, power tools, and building supplies
Don't be limited by this list, though. Anything you need to store that won't require temperature and humidity control can be a great choice for this type of storage unit.
2. Reuse: Packaging Materials
Whether you need padding to protect china in storage or large boxes to corral small items into a format, you can likely find items and packing materials that have been used one or more times already. If you're using the storage unit for a move, check with your moving company to see if they have reusable or secondhand boxes.
Here are some ideas to help you locate gently used packaging materials in your town.
- Search local online marketplaces and free-item posting boards for boxes and padding
- Tell your friends and neighbors you're looking for free materials (be specific about what kinds you want)
- Stop at grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, book stores, and liquor stores and ask if they have extra boxes
If you have a paper shredder, remember that crumpled shreds often work well as padding for fragile items. And newspapers are great as well, so ask your local friends to save up their newspapers for you rather than throw them out.
3. Recycle: Unneeded Items
Even if you use a storage container, that doesn't mean you have unlimited space to keep items you'll never use again. Instead, go through your storage items periodically to assess which things you still need and which can be rehomed or recycled. Use your city's recycling program combined with drop-off and mail-in programs to recycle as much as possible.
But remember, recycling by giving your unneeded items to someone who can use them is even better than turning them in to a recycling program. That's because even the most eco-friendly recycling programs still use energy as well as fuel for transportation.
Even things that you aren't sure anyone will want can often find productive, new homes if you list them for free or for trade on a local online marketplace. For example, local artisans and crafters may have a use for worn-out clothing, sweaters with holes worn in the elbows, and even used bubble mailers.
And on the subject of rehoming unneeded items, don't forget to give away your used packing materials to the next person, rather than throwing them out. Or if they're at the end of their useful life span, recycle or compost them.
These tips can help you reduce the environmental impact of your storage experience so that you can store more possessions without feeling bad about the effect it has on the Earth. For more information about the storage containers and trailers we offer, contact Pick's Sales-Leasing, LLC., today and we'll be glad to discuss our services and products.