How to Go Green in Storage Spaces

Storage spaces can pose a serious problem when you’re trying to go green because they tend to be home to everything that’s not wanted (or not safe) in the house. Environmental hazards, such as propane canisters for barbecues, old paint, antifreeze, and more, clutter up attics and basements. Green your garage, attic, or basement by going through everything in it and following this advice:

  • Dispose of anything that you no longer use. Have a garage sale, freecycle it, or take it to your local recycling center or hazardous waste drop-off point to make sure that it’s disposed of properly.

  • Take old paint thinner, paints (especially oil-based ones), and other flammable items to an authorized drop-off site. These items are dangerous to have in the house or garage.

  • Organize what’s left. Store sentimental items such as photos and mementos in moisture-proof containers, preferably in the main area of the house that’s more climate-controlled.

    Store potentially toxic compounds (such as antifreeze) well out of the way of kids and animals; high shelves are best.

  • Clean your garage floor by sweeping it rather than spraying it with water. Hosing down your floor puts any oil and other environmental hazards from the floor into the water stream. Rolling on floor products such as concrete paints and coatings make cleaning easier and also can also help the floor surface last longer.

  • Keep your garage floor clean with floor or tire mats and drip pans. These supplies help keep the floor clear of winter road salt and anything leaking from your vehicle, such as oil. In turn, you keep the chemicals from running off into the environment. Use drip pans to collect leaks and drips, and then dispose of it safely at a hazardous waste drop-off point.

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