Space is often a limiting factor for most businesses. However, whether it’s storing computers, files, electronics, or other office equipment, it is important to understand that some of today’s most popular packaging materials are also the least environmentally friendly. By making the smart choice to use environmentally friendly storing materials, you will be doing your part to make this earth a beautiful place for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. Therefore, take some time to consider these five eco-friendlier alternatives to storing away your office supplies.
Sustainable wood storage pieces
Numerous companies now offer stackable storage pieces to form bookcases, closet organizers, room dividers, media storage and many more that are made from sustainable woods and certified wood veneers. Certified sustainable wood means that the wood harvest has been harmonized with replenishment efforts and other natural elements. Furniture or other storage containers made from non-certified sustainable wood deplete natural reserves. Not only will these storage pieces help the environment, but they will also give your office space a homey feel!
Post-consumer recycled content
Post-consumer recycled content is material that has already served its purposed and is reused in a different form instead of discarded. This can include office paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics, and other materials. Because a lot of this material is already out there and being used by other businesses and companies, try to buy storage containers and boxes made from post-consumer recycled content in order to reduce the environmental impact.
Biodegradable trash bags
Your traditional trash bag can take up to hundreds of years to completely decompose. Even after those hundred years, these bags don’t fully decompose but are instead broken down into millions of tiny toxic particles that contaminate both our soil and water systems. On the contrast, biodegradable trash bags can fully and truly decompose in three to six months. These bags are made from organic and recycled material, minimizing their environmental impact.
Biodegradable packing peanuts
Packing peanuts are made through polystyrene, which involve the use of petroleum during the manufacturing process. Not only is this environmentally costly, but these packing peanuts can take hundreds of years to break down. A better alternative to these regular packing peanuts is biodegradable packing peanuts made from cornstarch. These packing peanuts are nontoxic and can be dissolved in water when you’re finished with them. There are many recipes online for making these packing peanuts in your own home.
Use what you already have
Besides the environmentally storing materials mentioned above, look around your office and try to use what you already have as storage materials. If you’re about to throw away that new report, try crumpling it up and using it as cushioning for some of your storage items. Save old newspapers to use as padding. Popcorn can even be used as a friendlier alternative to polystyrene packing peanuts!
Kenneth McCall builds creative and innovative tools for customer seeking self storage units. Kenneth is the director of operations at storage.com which provides Washington D.C. self storage listings, and storage units in many locations across the country. In his spare time he likes to get outside, ideally with a boat and waterskis.