We live in a country where we’re lucky to have recycling programs, public transportation systems and eco-friendly initiatives. Many of us benefit from clean hydro-electric power. Canadians love to talk about how amazing we are. But are we actually ‘walking the walk’?
We’re still a society that creates a ton of waste. Canadians throw away over 3 million tons of plastic every year. From unnecessary plastic packaging to disposable fashion, we can and should be doing better.
As a Canadian self storage company, we’d like to share some ways you can be even more green, whether it’s storage at home or leasing an off-site unit with someone like us.
Use cardboard instead of plastic
While it’s tempting to use plastic tubs and containers to keep items safe and dry, try to use recycled cardboard boxes instead. Plastic isn’t biodegradable like cardboard and can take anywhere from 20 years (grocery bags) to 450 years (water bottles) to break down.
However, we understand if you’re worried about moisture seeping through paper-based boxes. In this case, we recommend trying to find storage bins that are made of bamboo or bioplastics made of biodegradable materials (like corn).
But if you already have plastic bins, you might as well get as much use out of them as possible. We just don’t recommend going out and buying new ones!
Pack with paper instead of bubble wrap
Like using cardboard boxes instead of plastic tubs, you should choose paper packing materials (including professional packing paper or newspaper) or biodegradable peanuts instead of bubble wrap and styrofoam. These will protect your belongings just as well (if not better) than plastic products.
If you’re moving or leaving a significant amount of stuff in a storage unit, buying in bulk can also save on waste because there may be less packaging materials.
Recycle or reuse your packing and storage materials
If you’re done with your boxes, packing paper and peanuts, recycle or donate them so they don’t end up in the landfill. You might have a friend, relative, or neighbour who could put them to use and keep paying it forward until the materials are finally worn out.
Save energy with off-site storage
A climate-controlled off-site storage unit can help you free up space at home so you don’t have to use as much energy to heat the whole space. Think of public storage like public transportation, where everyone shares the cost and results in less energy used per person or household.
Climate-controlled storage also helps to preserve your belongings. If you keep your things in a cold, damp basement, you might end up having to toss things due to mold or water damage, which results in more waste.
In a nutshell, moving and storage can be eco-friendly if you do it right. In fact, putting things in storage rather than throwing them away is one way to keep them out of the landfill. Whether you’re reusing, recycling or donating, you can reduce your impact on the environment, even if it’s in your own small way.