Cheap and Easy Ways To Go Green With Your Storage Unit

Drink an entire bottle of Peach Schnapps. Go sailing in rough waters. Develop hypochromic anemia (or chlorosis if you live in the 19th century). Wear tarnishing silver jewelry. These are all excellent ways to go green, but that’s not what we’re talking about. This article is about making your storage unit more eco-friendly to do your part in saving the planet. Kind of like a superhero. 

Not so long ago using such terms as “going green,” “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “organic” (in contexts having nothing to do with food), “chakra”, “kale” and anything served in a mason jar would make you come across as a pretentious. Nowadays it still does, but at least you’re concerned about taking care of Mother Earth.

Eco-friendly simply refers to the fact that you are trying not to harm the environment with chemicals, waste or hideous fashion faux-pas (like socks with sandals), and you can apply this way of living to anything, including at your local self-storage facility. So here are several ideas as to how you can reduce your carbon footprint and go green with your storage unit:

Reduce Your Transportation Trips

Transporting your “valuable goods” to your storage unit in your groovy little Toyota Tercel may save you money on a moving truck, but the fifteen trips required are only adding to the ecological pollution. Align your chakras and just rent the van already. You’ll save time, you’ll save the environment, and you’ll save on the wear and tear of your tin can on wheels.

Rent At a Nearby Storage Facility

Again, thinking you’ll save a few bucks by renting the cheapest unit at the cheapest storage facility 33 miles from anything resembling civilization only proves that you failed math class. The time wasted by commuting, the money spent on gas, and the exhaust your car is contributing to the air all negate the benefit of the cheap storage unit.

Use Recycled Moving Supplies

If you play your hemp-paper cards right, you shouldn’t have to purchase any new cardboard moving boxes. People give away a lot of free stuff on Craigslist, so be sure to check it out. You could even walk away with an industrial-sized wooden spool, Kool-Aid costume or 9 packets of regular-flavored Instant Quaker Oatmeal! U-Haul has a handy online box-exchange program. Or go down to your local supermarket, book shop or liquor store and ask if they’ll let you have some spare boxes. Make sure the liquor store is last on your list; that way, if everyone says no you can drown your sorrows with a six-pack of Buttface Amber Ale. 

Choose An Eco-Friendly Storage Facility

What is an eco-friendly storage facility? One that uses candles instead of light bulbs and Chinese fans instead of air conditioning. In the 1800s, that is. These days a green storage unit might be lit with low-energy bulbs which also produce very little heat, thus reducing the need for excessive AC output, incorporate in-house recycling centers, and be constructed with recycled material, like empty soda cans and half-ply toilet paper.

Pare Down Your Possessions

Chances are you own about five times as much junk—sorry, “prized possessions” with deep “sentimental value,” like your first mug shot, your entire childhood wardrobe, and every issue of National Geographic ever produced—as you really need. The best way to be environmentally conscientious is to simply not buy so much stuff. If you feel your heart going into cardiac arrest at the thought of stifling your shopping “habit,” you might want to check out Shoppers Anonymous.

Don’t Store Toxic Materials 

Like broken mercury thermometers, asbestos, chemicals, noxious gases, fertilizer, paint, paint thinner or any other hazardous, toxic or biological waste (such as Petri dishes, surgical wraps, blood vials, and pipette tips). Need we say more?

Selena Templeton

Selena Templeton is a writer and editor who sees the world through Giggle Glass, a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display plus false nose and mustache. It reveals the absurd, amusing, and inappropriate goings on of daily life and displays it in a lap top-like hands-on format, from which she posts to various blogs such as Self Storage Finders, Romantically Challenged, and SelenaTempleton.com. As a former professional organizer and a current Virgo, she is a self-diagnosed authority on storage, packing, organizing, and general neat freakishness.

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