Consider this scenario: you are having a pre-Christmas clear out. In the coming months, your house will be filled with extended family, tinsel and trees. The kids’ presents will only add to the clutter.
You’ve packed up the things that were taking up space- an old television, toys the kids never play with anymore, even a mattress. They need to go. You have two options.
Option 1: you leave everything at a landfill site. This is the easiest method for you. Simply show up, dump your unwanted rubbish and drive away- you never need to think of it again.
But here’s what you don’t see. The toxins in the old TV leach into soil and groundwater, creating environmental hazards for the future. The toys your kids once loved so much? They are made out of plastic and they leach toxic chemicals as they break down. The coils in the mattress rust, emitting chemicals into the soil.
Option 2: Instead of taking the items you consider ‘rubbish’ to a landfill site, you choose to put them into storage. You find an eco-friendly storage unit that is nearby, so you don’t have to make a long car journey to get there.
When the Christmas chaos is over, you decide to sell the old television. It turns out it’s considered vintage and is a collectors item! You decide that another child could benefit from your kids’ beloved toys, and donate them to a charity shop. In a few years, your son moves out. Guess what he needs for his new house? A mattress.
Each year, UK households collectively produce approximately 31 tonnes of waste. This is the equivalent of three and a half million double decker buses. Choose the sustainable option by putting your belongings in storage rather than landfill. You never know what value something might hold in the future!
Choose a Local Store Yard
So, you’ve made the decision to store your unwanted stuff. Good choice! Now, how can you make this process as sustainable as possible?
The first method is choosing a local store yard. This year’s Self Storage Association annual report estimates that there are approximately 2,050 self storage yards in the UK. Wherever you are based, there is a storage yard near you. By choosing a local yard, you not only save yourself time, you also reduce the carbon emissions you produce while travelling to your unit.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Store Yard
Since there are so many options for storage, some store yards are trying to stand out against the competition by implementing sustainability measures. If you take your business to one of these yards, other yards might follow suit and more will become eco-friendly.
Look out for store yards that have energy efficient features. A yard may use renewable energy, for example, from sources such as solar panels or passive building techniques. Energy-efficient LED lighting is also a good thing to look out for.
Say No to Consumerism
Putting items you don’t use anymore into storage should encourage you to buy less. You will never need to buy holiday decorations again, as you can store and res-use them each year. The same goes for furniture, kitchenware and other household items. You never realise how expensive these things are until you are moving house and need to buy them all over again.