Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 by Keith Tenuto
When you neglect sustainability, you don’t only harm the environment. You also hurt your local community.
Our company is bullish on sustainability. When we say we “bleed green,” we really mean it. Our environmentalism principles are written in our mission statement, our company values, and all across our website. We are firm believers that sustainable junk removal can exert positive influence beyond the environment. It can also be a force for good in local communities.
We are firm believers in sustainable junk removal. And we won't stop pushing our message until everyone has heard it because sustainable junk removal has the power to change the world.
Here's how it positively impacts communities around the globe.
The first flyer for The Junkluggers was simple but effective. It said a college student would help you haul away your junk to local charities and recycling centers instead of immediately disposing of it. Junk removal wasn't something many people were familiar with. But if someone else could help customers save the planet, then they were on board.
Giving back is something we’ve stood by ever since those early days of only Josh and his mom’s Dodge Durango SUV. We even have a network of charity partners that we work with to donate items like mattresses, TVs, and furniture.
One of the three pillars of sustainability is “people.” Any sustainable action should always take a person's well-being into consideration. Everyone can achieve this with fair wages, a better work-life balance, and stronger communities. We firmly believe in all of these, but the last one is the most important. It's why we give back and help others who need it most. Nothing empowers people more than a tight-knit community.
We’re actively polluting the world with our habits. Whether it's commuting to work, using non-biodegradable products, or throwing things out that could be recycled or repurposed, everything we do creates more pollution. We can only solve this by taking real action. The easiest place to start with is how we dispose of junk.
Most of our junk ends up in landfills because it is the easy way out. But landfills are a huge contributor to air and water pollution. Consider that US landfills released an estimated 163 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2014.
By using sustainable junk removal, you reduce the amount of pollution humans create. This isn’t limited to junk disposal methods, either. When you recycle, facilities break down materials to repurpose them in new products. These manufacturers don’t need to make new materials from scratch, which generates more pollution and waste in the process.
We rely on hazardous tools to minimize our junk: landfills and incinerators.
Not only do landfills contaminate surrounding soil and water, but they also hurt local habitats. Many animals find food in landfills or consume water polluted with leachate, a combination of moisture and waste runoff that comes from landfills. This can lead to the spread of more diseases, and even a change in animal behavior.
Incinerators are no better. When they burn junk, it releases toxins like lead and mercury into the air, destroying the ozone layer. It also creates ash and sludge byproducts, both of which are hazardous to the environment.
We must remind ourselves that one of the three pillars of sustainability is “planet.” Sustainable companies determine if what they’re doing is hurting or harming the environment. This extra mindfulness that can be the difference between harming and saving the planet.
Sustainable junk removal means keeping your junk from having an impact on the environment. You’re taking the time to care about where it ends up. If we're not considering this at all times, we may be doing more harm than good.
Do you even know where your closest landfill is? The physical distance between communities and landfills is often quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean people are safe from the negative effects of a landfill.
The health hazards and the aesthetics of a landfill lend a bad reputation to a community. Diseases like asthma and lung cancer are linked to landfill pollution. And who honestly wants to live in a town that’s next to a landfill?
With sustainable junk removal, items get recycled or repurposed in a thoughtful way. A company will carefully sort through truckloads of junk to donate, recycle, or repurpose items. The rest is then taken to a local waste management facility for proper disposal.
We've exercised empathy since starting The Junkluggers. Relating to someone else and feeling their emotions is a powerful experience.
We practice it each time we pick up junk. We remind ourselves that customers have sentimental items, and we want them to know we care.
There will always be an emotional component to junk removal because you’re taking away memories in the process. When you take the time to listen to someone, you pass along feel-good vibes. The more you’re empathetic, the better people will feel, and the more likely they’ll be to pass these feelings on. You know how they say smiling is infectious? The same goes for empathy.
Empathy is also a key driver of amazing customer service. Being professional, timely, and upfront is important, but empathy is the differentiator between good and great customer service.
Widespread sustainable junk removal isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take time to implement across all junk removal companies. We’re doing our part to recycle, repurpose, and donate what we can for now. We won’t compromise on being green. We’ll be unyielding to show the world how effective sustainability can be.