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How to Go Green with Self Storage

Jon Fesmire | September 7, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

These days, with global climate change already affecting the world, it’s more important than ever for us to all do our part to improve the health of the environment. If you’re already recycling, using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and taking other steps to reduce your carbon footprint, you may want to do the same thing with your self storage unit.

Is Your Facility Eco-Friendly?

Before you choose a facility, ask questions about how green, or eco-friendly, they are.

Light Bulbs

What sort of light bulbs do they use? Switching to CFLs is one of the easiest, cheapest, and best ways to save energy, and it’s the first thing any facility should do. If they’re still using incandescent bulbs, for instance, that’s a good sign they’re not up with the times. CFLs are the spiral bulbs you see these days that give as much light as an incandescent, but that use much less power, produce fewer greenhouse gases and last much longer. Though they cost more up-front, they save a lot of money in the long run and are better for the environment.

Paper Use

Does the facility use paper economically? For example, are their contracts printed on one side of each page, or on both sides? When possible, do they keep files digital rather than printing them? Do they print on recycled paper when possible?

Power Conservation

Of course, you want a facility to have 24/7 video surveillance, alarms, and gated access, and that means using electricity. However, at night, does the facility turn off what it can? Are the lights motion-triggered, so that they only turn on when someone is in an area? If so, that’s great. Do they turn off the lights inside buildings, and shut down (or at least “sleep”) computers and other electronics?

What You Can Do

Before you store, make sure you’re not packing away things you don’t really need. We talk a lot about decluttering in this blog, and one advantage of doing this right is that you can help the planet out.

The basic steps to decluttering listed below.

  1. Sort your belongings into things you need at home and things you don’t. The things you need at home stay at home.

  2. Go through the things you don’t need at home. Sort them into things you will need, and things you can get rid of. The things you will need to go into your storage unit.

  3. Sort the things you don’t need into things you can sell, things you can donate, things you can recycle, and things to throw away.

  4. Go through the things to throw away and see if there’s anything that can actually be recycled. This includes things you might not expect, like clothing, electronics, and old wooden items.

The more you can recycle, the better you’re treating the environment.

Also, when packing your things for storage, use eco-friendly materials. These include boxes made of recycled cardboard and packing paper made from recycled paper. Don’t use packing peanuts unless you have some on hand. Buying them creates a demand for them, and styrofoam takes ages to break down and is terrible for the environment. If you’re using packing peanuts you already have, that’s responsible recycling.

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