A man and a woman in a white room holding a few cardboard boxes with some green plants on the left.

If we genuinely want to conserve nature and give our children a better future, we must find more ways to “go green”. This term can imply many things, but it mainly boils down to reducing, reusing, and recycling whenever possible. Everyone can help the environment by taking small steps. You can start using reusable shopping bags, less power, or simply walking instead of driving. A place more and more people have been finding ways to “go green” in is their storage unit. So, if you want to make your storage unit more eco-friendly, we have prepared some tips for you.

Choose green self-storage options

Although “green” self-storage is a relatively new idea, the growing number of facilities that provide it shows that customers desire to help the environment and make a difference. We can help you recognize the aspects that make a storage unit eco-friendly. However, keep in mind that you might not be able to find a unit that has all of these qualities. It is up to you to choose one that meets your requirements and incorporates as many environmentally friendly ideas as possible.

Uses green lighting

Most storage facilities keep their lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make their units safe. This may not appear to be a huge concern, but leaving a light on all the time consumes a lot of energy. Even a single lightbulb consumes a considerable quantity of valuable energy. The facilities address this issue by replacing their old lightbulbs with LED bulbs (that consume up to 90% less energy). On the other hand, they may also incorporate motion sensors that switch the lights on when needed.

Uses alternative energy sources

If you truly want to make your storage unit more environmentally friendly, choose a facility that uses alternative energy sources. Solar panels have become more affordable in recent years, making them the most viable option. Furthermore, since storage units have wide, flat roofs, they are perfect for installing solar panels to gather and convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Because solar energy is currently the most abundant energy source on the planet, a storage facility may operate almost entirely off-grid by using it.

A white windmill and plenty of solar panels on a snow-covered patch of land.

Made from eco-friendly materials

While storage facilities must protect the items they store, they do have considerable leeway regarding the materials they can be made from. Examine the storage facility more closely. Is it built of recycled materials, renewable materials, or materials that help isolate and reduce energy consumption? If so, this is a facility you should consider. However, keep in mind that sometimes the most environmentally responsible alternative is to add energy-saving technologies rather than taking down a facility and rebuilding it with better materials.

Offers on-site recycling

Lastly, a storage unit that offers on-site recycling is a great idea. This indicates that the facility supports this extremely beneficial practice of recycling. In other words, it will make it easier for its clients to dispose of items from their units safely.

Don’t go overboard with the number of items stored

Although storage units should store items we don’t want to get rid of and don’t have uses for, be cautious. It is easy to go overboard and keep everything you have no current use for. This is why you must be mindful before choosing which items you wish to store. A lot of your belongings may not benefit you but will help someone else. Donate, gift, or recycle items rather than keep them until they are no longer usable and wind up in landfills. Additionally, understand what can be stored in storage units and that some things don’t belong there. So, take your time and choose items wisely.

A woman looking through different articles of clothing hanging from a clothing rack.

Package items in eco-friendly alternatives

Now that you’ve decided on an environmentally friendly storage facility and the items you want to store, it’s time to pack them properly. This is a crucial step if you’re going to make your storage unit more eco-friendly. Just as you reused old boxes when relocating, now you may reuse them yet again for storing. This is an excellent option if you want to remain environmentally cautious while keeping your items safe. Remember to reuse your boxes again if you ever wish to get rid of some things in your storage. This way, the cycle continues without the need for more waste. On the other hand, if you don’t have boxes you can reuse, opt for cardboard boxes over plastic ones to reduce plastic waste that ends up in the ocean.

Exchange plastic tape for reusable plastic ties

Packing tape is one staple that most people cannot live without when packing. However, using an unnecessary amount of tape made from an environmentally dangerous material such as plastic can be avoided. Plastic ties are a great alternative if you ever wish to secure your belongings. You can reuse these ties unlimited times, reducing plastic waste. Of course, we understand tape is occasionally necessary. But reducing your tape usage will make a difference in its impact on the planet.

Two cardboard boxes on a wooden table with some packing tape on the side.

Opt for eco-friendly packing material

As for other packing materials, you will be happy to know there are many eco-friendly alternatives. To protect fragile items, you can opt for packing peanuts made from recycled or biodegradable materials. For items that cannot be imprinted by newsprint, use old newspapers. Alternatively, use blankets and socks to keep your belongings in place and keep them from breaking. Obtaining secondhand pallets to prop your items up is another way to save a few trees. In addition, when it’s time to take your belongings out of storage, try to repurpose or recycle the packing materials used. By doing this, you will make your storage unit more eco-friendly. From now on, always shop from reliable, eco-friendly marketplaces that will be able to provide you with a guilt-free shopping experience.