American Excess – What’s in your closet?

9 06 2008

Next time you have a few minutes, do an inventory and count some of the things you have in multiples. You may be surprised to learn how much “stuff” you have accumulated that you’re either not using or don’t need since you have so many of them.

** plastic bags**

Check out this article about artist Chris Jordan’s exhibit: Intolerable Beauty, Portraits of American Mass Consumption. His art display makes a strong statement about American excess by using the actual consumer waste to put the numbers in a visual perspective, rather than simply telling the facts. From paper bags to cellphones, his works send a strong message.

** cell phones**

If that’s not an alarming statement maybe this is: In addition to what Americans use daily, both at home and at work, its estimated that Americans need an additional 7 sf of storage space per person, and an estimated 17.2 sf per household (click here to check out the Self Storage Association Fact Sheet for reference). Sadly, to accommodate all these items, the storage industry is one of the leading growing sectors of commercial industries, estimating over $20 billion in revenue in 2007 – just to accommodate all the excess.

But don’t get caught up on the bad news – on the flip side, you can make a huge difference by following some of these eco-friendly ways to deal with your excess:

1. If you’re going to put your stuff in storage, choose a green storage facility USA’s first Green Storage Facility – Brooklyn

Choosing to put your items in storage for a short term could be a great solution for a variety of reasons, and may very well be a great eco-conscious decision (ie. maybe you don’t need to rent that large U-haul after all to drive cross country). Although we mentioned some startling facts above, short term storage needs could be a great thing. We’ve recently come across Hall Street Storage in Brooklyn, near the Navy Yard, that has converted an old existing warehouse structure into a Green Warehouse facility. The founders of the company sought to turn this existing space built in 1918 into a storage center where they have invested their energy into making it environmentally friendly. From purchasing renewable energy certificates supporting renewable energy (REC’s), to reclaiming wood from the existing structure, to adopting some environmentally friendly policies, they are a leader in this type of service facility.

2. Avoid the landfill – try Filco Carting

This company was recently recommended to us by Sumner Green Eco-Friendly Construction. If you have a large bundle of goods (or not goods) that you’re looking to get rid of please consider where those items might wind up. Working with a company such as Filco can help manage and recycle your unwanted materials.

…or, on the other hand

Use LESS!

Acquiring less “stuff” is not only good for the environment and your wallet, but also simplifies your life.

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