Going greener is something on all of our minds, and whilst it can feel like a lot of work, it’s worth it. Luckily, there are easy changes you can make to every part of your life that help you go green gradually. For instance, it’s Plastic Free July right now – so trying to reduce how much you buy and use single-use plastics is easy to keep in mind. If you’re looking for more ways to be eco-friendly, one area you can be more green is with your self storage unit.
Curious? Here are our top five tips for being more green with your self storage habits:
1. Store more, so less waste is sent to landfill
The amount of waste sent to landfill in England rose by 4% in 2019 to 45,859,000 tonnes, according to data published by the Environment Agency. This is an increase of around 1.8 million tonnes from the previous year. Storing more and trying to be more green with your buying and disposal habits can help reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill in a year.
For instance, if you’ve got some summer clothes with wear left in them but you need to clear out some room in your closet, you can keep them in a storage unit until the next summer, and rotate your seasonal clothes in and out. This helps you get out of the fast-fashion cycle whilst decreasing how much you throw away. Keep in mind things like children’s toys too – your little ones might be all grown up, but your friends might have kids one day who those toys may be perfect for.
Storing things like this not only saves the environment but saves you money, as you’re reducing how much you need to buy.
2. Choose An Eco-friendly Facility
You might not be able to find a self storage facility that runs on full solar power and recycles all their water, but with a little research you can find businesses that do their bit. This could mean using LED lighting rather than traditional fluorescent lighting, or offering you recyclable packaging materials. Most companies who do their bit for the environment will want you to know about it, so give them a call and ask!
Some facilities have recycling areas and even rules on rubbish and what you do with it. It may just seem like one small way to do your bit, but if everybody does it, the overall impact is great and helps towards reducing negative environmental impact from us all as a whole.
3. Choose the right packaging material
Speaking of recyclable packaging materials… using them is easy. If you buy sturdy cardboard boxes, you can reuse them again and again for every house move or shift to storage you need to do. Then you can recycle the boxes when they start to fall apart.
There are loads of other ways to be greener with how you pack your things. For instance:
- Cut the tape! Plastic tape is environmentally costly and dangerous, and there are plenty of alternatives. You can secure bags, cords, hoses, curtain rods etc with recyclable plastic zip ties, and keep boxes closed with paper tape (like the tape Amazon use on their packages!)Of course, sometimes tape is necessary, but cutting down on the amount of tape you use will make your storage unit much greener.
- Consider packing with newspaper. This might not work for clothes as the ink can rub off, but you can also invest in biodegradable packing peanuts. Paper towels, which are also biodegradable, can be used in place of bubble wrap for those items that are particularly fragile. When you have to buy tubs or other containers, go greener by looking for those made from materials that are reclaimed, renewable, recycled, or repurposed.
- When you get your items out of storage, make sure you recycle the packing materials. If you are done with them, send them to a recycling center, or give them to someone who is moving and needs boxes and packing materials. If you are going to store other items, re-use the packing materials for your own needs.
4. Use Recycled Pallets
Recycled wooden pallets are a great way to keep boxes and items off of the ground in your storage unit. These are recyclable and easy to mend and reuse – and also renewable! Using recycled wooden pallets is much greener than plastic shelving – which is likely to cost you more money and be less strong.
It’s easy to find free pallets in your area using tools like facebook marketplace, as small businesses often get them with deliveries and need to get rid of them. When you’re done with your pallets, you can pass them on or break them down for firewood.
5. Choose a unit you don’t have to drive to
If you’re using your storage unit for document storage, or storing small and light items like clothes, you might not need to use your car every time you need to grab items or tuck them away. Of course you have to drive to and from the unit with larger goods, but if you mainly have to stock check and grab smaller items, can you also get there by bus or by walking? Check on a self storage company’s locations to see if they have a facility near you.
Here at Magenta Storage, we have locations across the Midlands and London and the south east of England, so that you can choose a location local to you. Contact us today on 0800 802 1360 to find out more about how we can help you.