“To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.” – Bill Nye
Spring is a magical time of year. Everything seems to wake up from its long, winter slumber, and sprout to life in a matter of days. For many, the brighter and warmer days inspire the need to do a little “spring cleaning”, where we can sort belongings and find new homes for anything we no longer have a need for. This annual ritual can be a truly therapeutic act for breathing new life into our homes.
Spring is also the time that we celebrate Earth Day — on April 22 — a holiday that reminds us of the constant environmental issues our planet continues to face every day. Here’s how your family can tackle your spring cleaning with a much greener approach in 2023 and beyond.
Green Benefits of Storage
How many times have you thought, “I don’t need this particular item anymore, so I’m just going to throw it away,” only to need that very item a few weeks or months later? This is a common occurrence in any household, no matter whether you’re getting rid of outgrown baby gear or tired of storing seasonal decor.
And so, we all opt to head for the bin or donation site to get rid of those items we can’t find an immediate need for. But is this the best way we can conduct our spring cleaning from an eco-conscious perspective? Or are there true benefits to storing things we don’t have an immediate need for, but are in perfectly good shape?
If you’re looking for ways that you and your family can begin to cut down on your environmental footprint, it’s important to follow the reduce, recycle, and reuse mantra.
Reduce: Keeping Items Out of Landfills
Every time you opt to keep something instead of throwing it in the trash, you’re helping to reduce waste. Of course, the less you consume initially, the less waste there will be down the road. That, paired with using the things that we already own for as long as possible, can help to reduce our individual impact on our environment, and domino into even bigger changes for our world.
Recycle: Understanding Manufacturing Impacts
Manufacturing processes take a huge toll on our planet every day. One of the biggest offenders continues to be the textile industry, whose fast fashion craze is polluting our sources of freshwater, filling our landfills, and emitting a ton of greenhouse gasses into the environment.
Unfortunately, the furniture industry is close behind. While these industries are working to make big changes to improve their environmental impact, there are things we can do as consumers to help. For one, recycling things properly. Whether that be returning aluminum cans and plastic bottles to be recycled or making the conscious decision to thrift secondhand items rather than indulge in quick trends, these small steps add up to a big change.
Reuse: Storing Items for Future Use
There are a lot of benefits to storing things for an extended period of time. For one, it saves you down the road when you have to repurchase things no longer in your possession. This is especially true for seasonal items like outdoor patio furniture, holiday decorations, or larger pieces of transitional furniture. It can also be great to have these items on hand to lend to friends and family who now have a need. But if these things aren’t stored properly, they can quickly become damaged and unusable — and that can lead to more wasteful practices, even unintentionally.
So, what if your at-home storage options — namely a dark, musty basement, damp garage, or super hot attic — aren’t cutting it as the perfect storage solution any longer? That’s where self-storage comes in very handy! By storing your things in a climate-controlled self-storage unit, they will be waiting patiently for you to grab when the time comes.
Ways to Minimize Your Environmental Impact While Storing
You’ve decided to store your items to future use — hooray! But what else can you be doing to be eco-conscious about the way in which you’re storing these things?
Vet Your Storage Facility Options
For one, you want to find a storage facility that understands how important a sustainable business is for their own impact on the planet. This might include upgrading to LEDs as opposed to using halogen bulbs or investing in energy-efficient systems to heat and cool their facilities.
Make Sure It’s Local
Plus, you’ll want to make sure it’s conveniently located near your home or work so there’s not a lot of extra driving required to access your things. For example, Morningstar Storage has quite a few locations scattered all across the Southeast. Also, be sure to ask these important questions before you make that big decision about who you’re going to entrust with your valuables.
Pick the Right Size
You can also pack up your things and organize your storage unit in a way that’s better for the environment. First, select the right storage unit for your specific needs — if you need to move to a bigger space in the future you can, but try to keep things as efficient as possible size-wise.
Pack Your Unit Properly
Next, use the right packing materials. Avoid non-recyclable materials like plastics, styrofoam, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts. Instead, use things like newspapers, paper towels, and other biodegradable options. Organize the unit in an easy-to-access way so you’re not wasting a lot of time and energy trying to locate things down the road.
No matter how big or small of an effort, each step we collectively take will help us to build a more sustainable future for our planet. This Earth Day, let’s celebrate by taking action!
Morningstar Storage’s Commitment
Morningstar Storage is proud to offer more than just quality storage solutions — we are committed to playing an active role in supporting and strengthening our local communities. Through the Morningstar Cares program, we are able to assist nonprofits in the area with furthering their unique missions.
From climate-controlled storage units, easily-accessible storage spaces with same floor or elevator-friendly access, to free rental moving trucks, 24/7 unit access, and an experienced team always ready to lend a hand, Morningstar Storage makes a commitment to your storage needs while working hard with our communities to keep our planet green.