Environmental responsibility and rising energy costs have dominated the headlines in recent years with an increased movement towards ‘going green’ and ‘tightening our belts’.
Reducing our energy consumption increases our contribution to greener living while also helping us save pounds. Here at Big Yellow Self Storage we have compiled a simple guide so that each and every one of us can have a greener existence at home, at work and even on the commute.
Going Green at Home
We’re all reasonably good at recycling our glass bottles, old newspapers and ink cartridges but have you ever thought about recycling for example, your old trainers?
You might also be surprised to know that batteries, mobile phones, engine oil and even paint are all recyclable items.
Beyond recycling we can also actively reduce our carbon footprint by switching to energy saving light bulbs, turning off electrical items we are not using and becoming more self-sufficient.
Many of us are guilty of leaving our televisions, laptops and kitchen appliances on standby, however a recent survey by the Energy Saving Trust has revealed that we can save up to £86 annually by making sure that all electrical items are unplugged. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth trying to get into the routine of checking plugs before going to bed at night.
With rising energy costs it has also become important to consider an appliance’s energy efficiency before purchase. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are planning to introduce a product labeling trial next year which will show the lifetime running costs of common household appliances helping us be more energy efficient and eco conscious.
Did you know one third of the 150 litres of water used by the average Brit daily is wasted? You could help reduce how much water you waste every day by thinking about using a watering can instead of the hose while watering your garden and how about installing a dual flush toilet? Dual flush toilets conserve water by offering users a choice of flushes and by handling waste differently from conventional loos.
By doing something as simple as turning the tap off whilst brushing our teeth or manually washing the dishes instead of using the dishwasher can also have a big impact on reducing the amount of water we waste daily.
Insulating your home is also a great way of making life a little greener. Statistics from the Energy Saving Trust (EST) suggest that home owners can save up to £310 a year in heating bills by getting their loft and cavity walls insulated. Insulation increases our environmental contribution as we need to use less fuel and energy to heat our homes.
Going Green at Work
How many of us honestly shut our computer down at the end of the working day?
A study in 2007 revealed that 30% of corporate computers are not turned off overnight generating 14.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. While leaving non essential appliances like fax machines and printers on overnight in the office wastes enough energy to fuel a small car for 100 miles. That is almost the equivalent of three hour return journey from Buckingham Palace to Brighton Pier (106 miles).
Interestingly research also suggests that one ton of office paper (enough to cover the workload of 10 to 15 employees) requires 17 trees to be demolished. Therefore we all need to make sure our office appliances take a power nap at night and we all do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle in the office.
Going Green on the Commute
Do you currently drive to work? Have you considered who lives nearby to you in the office? There may even be someone who works in the office next door. Could you share a lift with them or devise a rota where you take it in turns to drive (and share the cost of fuel)?
Liftshare is a website dedicated to this very cause inviting you to submit your home and work address in a bid to connect you with those undertaking a similar commute. Go on, get friendly as well as eco-friendly; you might even save yourself some money.
Using public transport, riding a bicycle or walking to work is also widely regarded as an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional commute.
Big Yellow Going Green
The Big Yellow Storage Company have increased their renewable energy generation by 11.5% in the past year alone while the installation of motion sensor lighting, rain water harvesting and green roof insulation have helped us keep our footprints green (not yellow!).
We are delighted to be the only storage company to feature in the 2011 Sunday Times Best Green Companies list and were recognised in the sustainable development category in the 2012 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise .
Explore more of this site to discover how Big Yellow Self Storage could offer you the right eco-friendly storage solutions without the massive price tag. Get a storage quote
Environmental responsibility and rising energy costs have dominated the headlines in recent years with an increased movement towards ‘going green’ and ‘tightening our belts’.
With weather warnings continuing to interefere with this year’s festival optimism, we thought we’d give you some tips on how to ensure you’re prepared to tackle the music without dampened spirits.
We’ll start with the pre-festival essentials:
Getting to the festival requires more planning than just making sure there’s room for you in the car. Quick access to your belongings will save you stress and time at the motorway services. Side loading rucksacks are a great way to pack practically, without having to unload your things when you’ve left your wallet or tickets in the bottom of the bag.
Admit it. You’re not looking forward to carrying your bag from the car to the campsite. Well guess what, we’ve found a solution! Pick up a trolley for as little as £15 – make it collapsable for added ease. The big wheels on this one from Gelert.com are not only gentle on your purse strings but give you extra space and added comfort. Get one from as little as £28.96.
Before you leave stock up on bin liners for those damp clothes and for the moments when you can’t find a dry seat in the house (or tent). They also make a cheap alternative to a poncho, so long as you remember to cut or rip a hole for your head.
And now for tips while you’re there:
We’ve all read the “what’s hot and what’s not” of festivals. Every year the same “festival chic” re-appears, although hardly ever does fashion think practical. Here’s our number one practical fashion tip for festivals:
Pack as many clothes as you can fit by rolling not folding. The more kit you have, the greater chance of keeping dry – but don’t forget to save spares for the journey home!
Also, the trusted Wellington boot is a festival man’s best friend – or so we say. Don’t follow the crowd though, go for something a little different this year with this colourful pair.
Why not go Royal with a pair of Le Chameau wellies?
Finally, keep in your bag:
• An umbrella. If the British weather continues as it promises to it will quickly become a summer festival staple. Go for quality with these designer umbrellas at Fulton.
• A plastic torch with batteries. After a long day of festival madness the last thing you want to be doing is running round to find your tent, belongings or friends in the dark. Save yourself the embarrassment of falling in mud or puddles by lighting the way back to a dry night’s sleep.
One last and dare we say it, most important tip…
Don’t forget the wet wipes. Let’s face it you won’t always get to the front of the shower queue and have you seen the state of the toilets?
Three years ago Big Yellow store manager Rob Harley was surprised to find Bee Orchids growing in the shadows of our Norwich store. They were first noticed by former RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) officer, Chris Durdin, who persuaded the gardeners to let the flowers grow, explaining that the Bee Orchid is in decline. This is the case, not only in Norfolk, but right across England. In the case of the bee orchid, the single flower is the culmination of up to 8 years growth and, if picked, the plant is unlikely to flower again.
Last week, after two years of no reported sightings, the same Bee Orchid was spotted again. Rob Harley said about their appearance: “We’re pleased the orchids feel as comfortable and safe in our land as our storage customers do. There’s a local buzz in the air about these orchids and knowing that I’ve had something to do with it rewards our gardening efforts over the last three years.”
Last month 29 flowering spikes were counted and within a few days an impressive total of 37 flowers were confirmed! The recent sun combined with the rainfall may be cause of their growth as these orchids are typically found in sunny, well-drained areas.
We are very grateful to Mr Durdin for recognising the orchids outside our store, and we hope to see the flowers return again next year!
Big Yellow’s Store Managers Rob Harley, Matt Trevillion, Gary Boast, Andy Polson and Mike FitzGerald have spent the day at Farleigh Hospice this week, helping the maintenance team prepare for some new and much needed storage space.
Arriving in the morning the volunteers split into two teams to make the most out of the day, with one team painting fence posts while the other prepared the ground for a new shed base they were building in the afternoon. After a quick break they carried on the hard work by putting a frame in place for the shed and filling it with concrete, ready for further volunteers to build on in the next few weeks.
Farleigh Hospice cares for people with life limiting illnesses. They provide personal support for every individual who needs it whether they are living at home or in the hospice. Without the help of the Big Yellow Self Storage they would have had to spend funds that could be better used elsewhere on hiring builders and we are proud to have volunteered for such a worthy cause. For more information and to help support Farleigh Hospice please visit Farleigh Hospice.
Big Yellow Store Managers volunteer their time and hard work to Farleigh Hospice: (left to right) Lee Cole, Ibrahim Khan and David Knight.
Your exams are over and another year of your schooling life has flown past like it was yesterday with the focus now firmly on the summer of fun ahead!
Thinking about all of your university furniture and belongings and what to do with them at the end of term is probably at the bottom of your list of things to do, but nonetheless it’s a reality, unless you want to come back to your room next term and find your Xbox isn’t there anymore! So why not check out our top tips on packing for the summer now so you can get the boring stuff sorted and really start to enjoy the festival season.
OK, so you need to move out of your student accommodation but you have no idea what you are going to do with your things or where you are going to put them. First off we’re going to give you some tips on how to pack your stuff up.
Here are a few tips:
• Use good quality storage boxes (sturdy cardboard and plastic boxes)
• Make sure you buy a roll of bubble wrap, as you will need it
• Protect fragile things with bubble wrap
• Fill boxes to capacity, as partially full or bulging boxes may tip or collapse
• Pack heavy items into small boxes so they’re easy to lift
• Wrap dishes and glasses in tissue paper or bubble wrap
• Wrap pictures and mirrors, then stack them on their end in boxes marked ‘fragile’
• Don’t just throw your laptop in a box, put it in a case and in your main bag so you know where it is
• Try and organise your clothes into dirty piles before you pack them so you don’t have to do it when you get home
• Wrap up any cables neatly, don’t chuck them in a box because they will all tangle up and you will regret it when you are unpacking.
Now where do you put all your Uni stuff? You could cram it all in your car or you could load it off with Mum and Dad, but then where does it go? Do you have a mate that lives nearby that you could leave your stuff with? You may well have to, but would you want friends things crammed in your house for months? Next option is taking it home but do you really want it sitting in your bedroom at home cluttering up your room? Your parents won’t let you dump it in the lounge and leaving it in front of the front door is a no-no. Time to think of a better place, time to start thinking like the youth of today; resourceful, spontaneous and fresh! Now is the best time to start thinking pro actively and sort out your stuff.
Using a storage facility is not such a daunting idea as it seems and it’s easy and pain free to arrange and can be done online. More and more people are using it to store their things that are non-business related. For example, families that go skiing once a year and have all the equipment stored in a cupboard leave it in storage out of the way until they hit up the ski season again. People that have far too many clothes and don’t have room for them at home use it as an overflow until they have a clear out of last season’s get up. With storage at Big Yellow catering for students, offering affordable deals, you can afford to keep your stuff safe with us over the holidays.
For any more information or to get a quote for storage visit the Big Yellow Self Storage website here at: http://www.bigyellow.co.uk/
It’s the start of the Euros! We’re right behind our lads and will be cheering them on. However, if you don’t fancy a month of football use it as an excuse to go shopping and find out what to buy in our summer trends blog!
With the Euro’s in full swing, for most it’s a time for male bonding, good quality beer and an unprecedented amount of football chanting. However, for the fairer sex, this can often feel like a time of neglect, so why not use this time as an opportunity for some much needed retail therapy and bag yourself the latest fashion trends.
The top Spring/Summer 2012 trends are a mixture of bright neons, audacious lip colors, statement necklaces, dip dye hair looks, sheer pieces and much more. These fashion trends are chic, bold and most importantly, extremely wearable. With that said, here are a few handpicked fashion must have’s that are certain to have you adorning bang on trend looks for Spring/Summer 2012.
Colour blocking it:
There’s nothing like vivid colour blocking to grab someone’s attention, what’s more, colour blocking is the perfect accompaniment to great weather. Fun and playful dresses in striking combinations are in, even Hollywood A- listers are donning a mix of hot pink, emerald green, lemon, tangerine and a slew of other vibrant colours and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t too. Try layering for a fun and edgy look.
Nature isn’t the only one which gets to boast blooming flowers; this season’s trend embraces floral prints, giving some of our otherwise standard daily fashion staples a botanic twist.
Add floral accents to your wardrobe with pretty as a petal jeans with a healthy injection of soft pastels as well as hues with Spring flowery images.
Maxi dress to impress:
A summery maxi dress is an essential piece in every woman’s summer wardrobe. These floor length dresses are not only elegant but flattering and a smart way to stay cool in the humid summer heat.
Team this with a nicely fitted blazer and sandals and you’re on your way to a great summer.
Possibly the most eye catching trend of them all, is the neon blazer trend. Aside from its fabulous array of colours, the neon blazer trend adds just the right amount of oomph to anything, easily transforming a mediocre outfit into a hot off the catwalk certified winner. If you’re a bit of dare devil, mix and match with other colourful pieces and statement jewellery.
Make a statement:
A chic and chunky necklace is the perfect way to finish off a trendy summer look. From oversized gold necklaces to multi – coloured gemstone necklaces, edgy metallic silver chockers and uber big pearl pieces, there’s a style to suit everyone. This trend is a perfect complement to a strapless playsuit or a simple summery cocktail dress.
Say it loud lip colour:
The top lip colours for Spring/Summer 2012 are electric tangerine, hot red, neon pink and bright coral and they have one objective, which is to make a statement. Don’t be afraid to play up with your look by painting your lips with loud hues – a definite winner!
With your fashion essentials sorted, you can let the boys be boys and enjoy countless days of fun in the sun.
If by chance your new wardrobe is bursting at the seams, Big Yellow can help you out with storing your winter possession until Autumn/Winter 2012. We can keep your possessions safe until they’re ready for collection and storage space starts from a pocket friendly £5 a week.
Big Yellow in Twickenham have played a big part for the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam supported by Virgin Media by providing a free storage room for the storage of bicycles, kit and equipment before, during and after the ride.
Laurence Dallaglio and Freddie Flintoff had set the challenge to cycle from Olympia in Greece all the way to the Olympic Village, London in just 22 days starting on the 23rd April and riding a staggering 2,872km. The event was raising money for the “Dallaglio Foundation” which helps support Cancer Research UK funded ICGC project on Prostate Cancer genetics and the other charity is the “AF Foundation” which raises funds to build, develop and improve Child Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy units in the UK
Warwick Sleigh store manager of the Big Yellow in Wandsworth was invited to take part on the final day of the event cycling from Ashford Kent to Stratford London. On the 18th May ’12 Warwick Sleigh set off with 90+ riders on the final stage ride from Ashford Kent to the Olympic Village which was approximately 100km and to date the event has raised a humungous £1,866,378.18.
If you want to donate then visit the official website here www.dallaglioflintoff2012.com
Now that the sun has finally decided to join us for the summer, it’s the perfect time to dust off the caravan and head for that road trip that you’ve been planning all year. However, deciding what makes the all important ‘what to pack’ list is no mean feat and much like most great accomplishments, it takes highly skilled planning before you can claim victory.
The old age adage, “less is more” couldn’t be more fitting an expression for this process, so it is advisable to think light before you pack the essentials – but no need to worry if this all seems daunting because we’ve devised a few handy tips to get your summer road trip off to a sunny start.
Despite being semi Tardis-like, caravans aren’t the actual Tardis and won’t carry everything and the kitchen sink, so make sure you plan carefully what you really need before you go on your holiday. Start at least 2 weeks beforehand by preparing a list of all essentials you’ll need.
The caravan cannot function without its fuel and neither should you, which is why Food is at the top of our list. After all, half the fun is in the type of food you consume throughout the journey but whilst it’s tempting to eat carelessly, it’s important to maintain a well balanced diet. Here are a few non – perishable suggestions:
• Salt and pepper
• Bottled Water
• Tinned baked beans and tomato sauce
• Dried herbs
Luckily, most caravans are already equipped with suitable sized stoves and also a microwave oven, which means the hard part, has already been taken care of. This just leaves good quality cooking utensils to pack, including the following:
• Plastic cooking bowls
• Bottle opener
• A cutting board
• Can opener
• A good sharp multi-purpose knife
• Disposable cutlery
• Oven proof holder
Depending on where you are going and how long for is an obvious indication of how much clothes you should pack. Travelers in search of more sunshine should definitely pack light weight clothing with something warm for the chilly nights and comfortable shoes for the day time to explore the meadows. If in doubt, these key items should keep you in check:
• T-shirts (no less than 5 pairs)
• Long sleeve fleece
• Clean underwear
Above all, relying on a photographic memory is an easy way to forget a great experience, so make sure you pack a camera to capture all the golden moments and slip the credit card in your wallet just in case things don’t quite go to plan. Hopefully, after digesting all the above tips, you’ll have a top notch caravan holiday!
After you’ve finished your holiday, why not swing by Big Yellow and drop off the stuff you won’t need until your next trip in one of our secure lockers. It’s safer than leaving it in your caravan for months and with easy access to our premises you can drive your caravan straight up to the loading bay! Just visit our website at www.bigyellow.co.uk and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction of our latest storage offers.
The stress of moving house has been the bane of many of our lives, so it comes as no surprise that recent surveys have indicated that moving house is the most stressful experiences that we could ever go through – even knocking divorce from the number one top spot.
As much as we’d all love an immediate quick fix where moving post codes is concerned, there’s no getting round the fact that there’s a great deal of planning, packing and bubble wrap popping to endure to help get the whole process off the ground, and that comes long before the crucial decision on whether to paint the kitchen Vanilla or Egg shell.
Luckily, following Big Yellow’s 5 top tips on a stress free move will see you into you new house with the upmost ease.
We often experience stress when things appear to be out of our control, so why not make life easy on yourself by reclaiming the control and planning ahead. Create a ‘To Do List’ detailing everything from packing the cutlery to bubble wrapping the garden gnome – this way you are almost guaranteed to get things done efficiently and most of all, without the headache.
2. Watch the pennies:
With cost being one of the most popular stress factors when moving house, why not start early and plan a budget within your mortgage to help spread the cost of payments? This will ensure there are no nasty surprises when the credit card bill arrives in the post.
3. Clear the junk:
Packing and unpacking takes great skill, patience and endurance which is a task that often separates the strong from the weak. With that said, de – cluttering your old home from unwanted items before you move is essential to saving money and creating less hassle.
4. Box it:
This is possibly the most obvious, but it still doesn’t go without saying – get as many boxes as physically possible. Whether cardboard, plastic or flat packed; the more boxes you get the more likely you won’t be scouring your local supermarket for desolate boxes for a last minute packing spree. Don’t forget that Big Yellow sell boxes. You can check out https://www.bigyellow.co.uk/boxshop/ for a full online list of our boxes.
5. And breathe…
Lastly, don’t forget to breathe and remember it will all be worth it once everything is unpacked and that new duvet is now firmly cemented on your king size bed.
Follow these simple tips and moving house will undoubtedly be plain sailing. If you find you still need more storage, consider space at Big Yellow Self Storage. We can keep your possessions safe and ready for when you need them and storage starts from as little as £5 a week. For more tips on packing and stacking, check out our downloadable handy guide at http://bit.ly/LxGlmH
For many the 1960’s are well and truly long gone, however for a growing few the 60’s are coming back. From the start of time (well fashion) people have done the ‘in-thing’ and followed what’s trending and it appears with the hit US TV show, ‘Mad Men’ starting its 5th series the next biggest trend is to kit your house out ‘Mad Men Style’.
You may be thinking this is just ‘hearsay’ but the TV show is starting to influence the interior market in a big way due to the high demand and popularity for the new trend. This means that the ‘new’ look is now easy to achieve.
This is not just hitting our homes; it is starting to change the office space too! Combine brass, teak and leather to create an understated yet powerful vibe. American walnut is a staple of the mid-century look. Try the modern-retro steel lines of the Danish oil-stained Clybourn desk, from Crate & Barrel.
Vintage phones are also popular again, for example the Sagemcom Sixty cordless version (available here) that comes in an on-trend burnt orange. This combines the modern trend and high street fashion with a vintage feel.
Retro prints are also back in vogue, and you cannot do the Mad Men look without ‘Lucienne Day’s’ textiles. Use them on a variety of surfaces, including soft furnishings and wall coverings. Try spirografica for an exclusive range of cushion designs. A selection of fabrics and wall coverings is also available from the Victoria and Albert.
Don’t think you have to make this change right away. Start attending car boot sales and vintage markets to pick up bits and pieces here and there. As you build up your collection watch your space change style with a very small amount of effort!
If you decide to take on the ‘Mad Men Style’ but think the modern chic look of today might creep back into fashion in the future, you can store your current furniture at Big Yellow Self Storage for as little as £5 a week!