Are you planning a move? Going green doesn’t have to stop when you change addresses. While standard moving practices often generate a substantial amount of waste, there are plenty of ways to make your move more eco-friendly. Here are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Do Some Decluttering
The less stuff you have to move, the better. Not only will it be less work for you, but it’ll also be more eco-friendly. This is because the fewer items you have to move, the less fuel will be used in the process.
So before you start packing up your things, take some time to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t need or want. You can donate items in good condition and recycle the rest. For items that are in bad shape, see if there’s a way to repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
2. Choose the Right Boxes
When it comes to packing materials, cardboard boxes are often the most environmentally friendly option. They’re also the most economical choice. If you have friends or family members who have recently moved, see if they have any boxes they’re not using that you can borrow.
If you need to buy boxes, look for ones made from recycled materials. You can also find boxes made from alternative materials like bamboo and sugarcane. These options are more expensive, but they’re more eco-friendly.
3. Avoid Plastic Wrap and Bubble Wrap
Plastic wrap and bubble wrap are not recyclable in standard facilities, so they’re not the best choice for eco-friendly packing. If you have to use them, make sure to reuse them later or recycle them at a specialized facility.
Instead of plastic wrap, try using old towels, sheets, and blankets to protect your belongings. These items can be reused or recycled when you’re done with them.
4. Use Reusable Storage Containers
Even if you opt to recycle your moving boxes, it isn’t always the most eco-friendly option. The best way to be eco-friendly is to avoid creating waste in the first place.
One way to do this is to use reusable storage containers. There are many different types of reusable storage containers, so choose the ones that will work best for your belongings and your new home. Some popular options include plastic totes, fabric bins, laundry baskets, and even suitcases. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it!
5. Dispose of Chemicals Thoughtfully
If you have any chemicals in your home that you don’t plan to bring to your new place, like cleaning products, pesticides, or paint, make sure to dispose of them properly. These items can be toxic and should not be disposed of in the regular trash. This is because they could end up in the landfill where they could leach into the ground and contaminate the water supply. In certain circumstances, they can also catch fire or explode.
Most communities have special hazardous waste facilities where you can take these items. You can also look into companies that will pick up and dispose of hazardous waste for you.
6. Rent or Borrow Moving Equipment
If you’re planning to move heavy furniture or appliances, consider renting or borrowing moving equipment instead of buying it. This way, you won’t have to worry about storing or disposing of the equipment after your move.
Some moving companies offer rental options for things like furniture pads and dollies. You can also ask friends and family members if they have any equipment you can borrow.
7. Plan Ahead to Save Fuel
When you’re planning your move, take some time to map out the most efficient route. This will help you save fuel and money, and it’ll be better for the environment.
For a long-distance move, consider combining multiple errands into one trip. For example, you can drop off donations at a thrift store, pick up moving boxes from a friend’s house, and fill up your gas tank all in one trip.
8. Avoid Purchasing New Furniture
New furniture is often made with harmful chemicals and materials that aren’t eco-friendly. If you can, avoid buying new furniture for your new home and instead shop secondhand.
There are many places to find secondhand furniture, like thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces. You may have to put in some extra work to find pieces that fit your style, but it’s worth it for the sake of the environment.
9. Choose an Energy-Efficient Home
When you’re looking for a new place to live, keep energy efficiency in mind. Look for homes that have energy-efficient features like solar panels, double-paned windows, and Energy Star appliances. These features will help you save money on your utility bills, and they’re better for the environment.
If you’re renting your next home, talk to your landlord about making energy-efficient upgrades. Many landlords are willing to make these changes if it means they can charge higher rent.
10. Hire Environmentally Conscious Movers
If you’re hiring professional movers, make sure to choose an environmentally conscious company. Look for companies that offer fuel-efficient vehicles and green moving practices. You may also want to consider a company that handles all aspects of the moving process, from packing your belongings to unloading the truck. This will ensure better efficiency, which can reduce the move’s impact on the environment.
You can try asking your friends and family for recommendations if you need help finding one of these companies. Chances are, someone you know has used an eco-friendly moving company in the past.
Moving can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be hard on the environment. By following these tips, you can make your move more eco-friendly and help preserve our planet for future generations.