Posted by On 20-02-2024

Eco-Friendly Storage: 5 Sustainable Options for Conscious Consumers

Eco-friendly storage: 5 sustainable options for conscious consumers

When it comes time to declutter your house, having reliable eco-friendly storage options is crucial. Part of being eco-friendly is to use sustainable packing and moving containers.

Another key part is to select a self storage facility that is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. Abacus is committed and dedicated to doing what it can to reduce its carbon emissions, to help keep OUR planet as livable as possible for future generations. Read about the Abacus carbon footprint reduction program near the end of this blog.

Plastic containers are a popular choice because they are lightweight, available in various sizes, and often stack well. However, there’s a major issue with plastic storage containers: they are not environmentally friendly.

Even when plastics are responsibly disposed of in recycling bins, they often are not actually recycled due to recycling facility limitations. This means they end up in landfills and oceans, endangering both humans and wildlife and contributing to our growing environmental crisis.

With the world’s population constantly growing and global warming at an all-time high, it’s everyone’s shared responsibility to take measures to reduce our negative impact on the environment. One way to do this is by investing in more sustainable products.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options that are more sustainable than plastic storage containers. By choosing these, you can get your belongings in order while doing your part to protect the planet.

What are some of the most eco-friendly container options for storage use?

If you are looking for storage containers that are environmentally friendly, you are in luck because there are many great options available.

These containers are just as functional as plastic ones and will help you organize your home quickly without guilt over choosing a non-sustainable option. Here are some of the best eco-friendly container options to declutter your home:

1. Wooden crates

If you’re looking for storage containers that are durable and visually appealing, wooden crates may be the perfect choice.

There are plenty of businesses, like your local wine store, where you can get your hands on some wooden crates cheaply or even free of charge (as they might otherwise be thrown away).

By taking wooden crates home with you in such situations, you are stopping them from being sent to landfills and giving them a second lease on life.

If you cannot find wooden crates being discarded at any stores around you, just look online; plenty of eco-conscious sellers offer reclaimed wooden crates for purchase. That way, you can support a small business at the same time.

2. Rattan storage boxes

Made from plants in tropical regions around Australia and Africa, rattan is a durable material that can withstand a decent amount of weight, making rattan boxes another excellent option for storing your valuables.

Rattan boxes come in various sizes, so you can store anything from media and magazines to important documents and old toys in them, and you can do so with confidence that they will last a long time. Rattan boxes give a warm and authentic feel to any room they are used in and are a sustainable storage solution.

Rattan boxes are also typically hand-woven, using methods that have been around for many generations, so investing in them means investing in artisans, too.

3. Reused glass jars

Another great sustainable storage option is glass jars! You probably already have a few sitting around your house somewhere. So, rather than getting rid of them, just wash and reuse them to store a variety of things.

Although even the biggest glass jars may still only have limited space, they are perfect for storing and organizing smaller items, such as art supplies, sewing materials, utensils, or makeup brushes. Smaller items are easier to lose or misplace, but when you have everything organized in glass jars, you will not have to worry about that issue.

In addition, glass jars are fairly durable and long-lasting. Eventually, if they are recycled, the glass can be used to manufacture new products over and over again, making them incredibly sustainable.

4. Old shoe boxes

Aesthetics are not always the most important factor when it comes to storage. Repurposing old shoe boxes is a clever and practical solution for items that will be stored out of sight.

Repurposing old shoe boxes is much more sustainable than purchasing new storage boxes, and they will serve pretty much the same function. Shoe boxes are simple to stack and organize and incredibly lightweight, making them easy to move around when necessary.

If you intend to use some old shoe boxes for storage in an area of your house where they will be visible, and you want to spruce up their appearance, you could always paint them to revamp their aesthetics.

5. Canvas and cloth bins

If you are searching for unique, affordable, and eco-friendly handmade storage options, canvas and cloth bins are another solid choice. They are the perfect storage solution in any bedroom, playroom, or living room and are especially ideal for storing larger items, like blankets, quilts, or bath goods.

These bins often come equipped with handles, making them easy to use, and their chic look will elevate any space that they are placed in.

Storage Units North York: How Abacus Self Storage Can Provide Eco-Friendly Storage Solutions

Sometimes, even with reliable storage containers around your house, you may still need more space to store all of your valuables, which is why it is handy to have a storage unit available.

If you are interested in sustainable, environmentally conscious storage units in North York Abacus Self Storage has the perfect solution for you. We have storage units in various sizes available for both short- and long-term storage. Thus, no matter how much you have to store or how long you need to store it for, we have you covered.

Abacus Investments to Reduce Carbon Emissions

At Abacus Self Storage, we are committed to environmental sustainability, which is why we are constantly looking for ways to minimize our carbon footprint and embrace eco-friendly practices. To put our commitment into practice, we have made several installations requiring related capital investments (some of which were very substantial), over the last 10 years. A few things that Abacus has done to reduce its environmental footprint:

  1. About 4 years ago, Abacus installed a new very long life (40 years plus) steel roof with substantial insulation to reduce heat loss, thereby substantially reducing its natural gas consumption and related carbon emissions in the winter months;
  2. Also about 4 years ago, Abacus installed solar panels generating renewable electricity on its new steel roof. The solar system has performed extremely well, and has reduced Abacus electrical consumption from Alectra by a minimum of 95%. This program simultaneously and permanently reduces the generating capacity needed by Alectra and its related carbon emissions, as a result of the Abacus solar installation;
  3. Over 10 years ago, Abacus installed an emergency electrical power generator which is natural gas fired (as opposed to diesel, which is “dirtier” environmentally). The emergency generator only comes on (automatically) if there is an interruption in electricity from Alectra. The generator has already prevented many major building sprinkler freeze ups during winter storms. Prevention of losses by this installation has also prevented the destruction of customer belongings (which is a complementary benefit), and the related release of carbon emissions “locked” in such belongings, and by emissions caused by any potentially needed replacement of such belongings;
  4. 2 years ago, Abacus installed “air blades” on all of its delivery doors, to keep heat in and cold air out when a delivery door is open during the winter (this installation program was recommended by Enbridge Gas for this purpose);
  5. While Abacus heats the building to prevent freeze up of the onsite sprinkler system for fire protection, the temperature is maintained at a relatively low temperature (between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius), again to reduce natural gas consumption and related emissions (Abacus is continuing to look for other building heating possibilities to reducing its natural gas consumption);
  6. About 10 years ago, Abacus replaced all of its fluorescent lighting with LED lighting, which at the time reduced related electricity consumption and related emissions significantly. Tree Canada planted 112 trees on Abacus’ behalf, as a benefit for installing LED lighting in its self storage facility.

For more information about all of our environmentally-conscious initiatives or to learn about the various environmentally friendly self-storage options that we have to offer, call Abacus Self Storage at 289-807-1033 or contact us here. We would very much like to hear from you.


“Just rented a storage locker from Abacus Self Storage. They are well organized , courteous, well organized and efficient. The locker is spotlessly clean and I am very pleased with the... Read More

Elyse Pomeranz

“My girlfriend and I are moving into a new place together and we had to find a secure, affordable and convenient storage facility to store our belongings, while we are transitioning to a new... Read More

Scott and Ola, Scottola

“Very knowledgeable and helpful staff. One stop shop to buy all packing and moving supplies. Very clean, bright and secure storage facility, that can be easily accessed. Would highly recommend to... Read More

Jodi M
Abacus has been helping customers meet their storage needs over many years.

The people in our testimonials are amongst the thousands of people that Abacus has had the privilege of serving since 1999. Some of these customers have taken the time to give us feedback, both personally and in written reviews, on their experience at Abacus, and for that we are most grateful.


Learn More About Abacus Self Storage in the Greater Toronto Area!

What is the price, and are there any promotions?

Our affordable prices are always set to deliver great value. Further, we regularly run promotions to give our customers the best deals on self-storage.

What should I do if my administrative/personal information has changed?

If your contact information (phone, email, address) changes, please let us know as soon as possible. If you are moving, be sure to change address for utilities, telephones, etc. Organize a checklist related to your move. The post office has special forms for address changes.

What do I need to do if I want to vacate my unit?

Give 1 week notice when the unit is being vacated.

Do I need reservations on a storage unit?

Inquire about advance reservations, to help ensure that a properly sized storage unit will be available when you need it. At Abacus, we do not charge for making advance reservations.

What should I be aware of when renting a storage unit?

Take time to review the storage agreement, as it is your protection while in storage.