An impending house move tends to steal the spotlight from all other current activities, urgent and not so urgent, and craves for proper attention from Day 1. As a result, it is of little wonder that the majority of house movers don’t really think about how moving affects the environment, and in particular – how their specific relocation will impact the world around them. And even if the thought does cross their minds, they probably dismiss the idea by thinking it is nothing but hard work to plan an eco-friendly move.
In reality, only a few quick changes to how you prepare for the move can make a big difference to keeping the planet a cleaner and greener place for all of us. Slight adjustments to how you select a moving company, how you choose, use and recycle your moving supplies, what belongings you take with you to your new home, and what you do after the move is over can all contribute towards an exemplary case of environmentally friendly moving.
Follow the eco-friendly moving tips below to minimize your carbon footprint, lower your expenses, and ultimately make your move greener than grass itself.
Hire an eco-friendly moving company
The very first thing you can do to make your move eco-friendly is to hire the professional services of an eco-friendly moving company. While hunting for a reputable and affordable local or cross country mover, take a look at the company’s environmental credentials as well. Ask your future relocation partners what specific measures they take to preserve the environment to understand better their contribution to a cleaner world.
Do they use gas guzzling trucks or do they rely on more fuel-efficient biodiesel moving vehicles? Do they sell eco-friendly moving supplies, such as recycled moving boxes, plastic bins made out of recycled materials, biodegradable packing peanuts, and so on? Also, will any of the moving companies on your shortlist be willing to provide you with eco-friendly moving ideas such as how to pack and organize your house move by using as few containers as possible?
Find yourself a green moving company to know you’ve done your share of welcoming and encouraging more environmentally friendly moving initiatives.
READ MORE: Why should I hire professional movers?
Opt for eco-friendly moving supplies
Having in mind that a house move requires an average of 60 moving containers and a standard moving box made out of cardboard usually lasts for 4-7 uses before you need to recycle it, your decision to choose eco-friendly moving supplies will be greatly beneficial not only to the environment, but to your relocation budget as well.
A good way to start your green move is to ask your friends if they have packing supplies you can reuse instead of burden your budget by purchasing them brand new. You may even get usable patches of bubble wrap and packing paper from pals of yours only for the asking. Another good way of getting your hands on good packing supplies is to visit local businesses and see what they can spare for you for free. In most cases, they should be fine with providing you with cardboard boxes because you’re saving them recycling time and efforts.
If you do need to purchase packing boxes for your upcoming house move, then make sure you only buy recycled boxes.
Get creative with what you have
To go easy on your moving budget, minimize waste when packing and unpacking, and eliminate the need to recycle your supplies after the move, you are recommended to turn to your creative abilities and take advantage of the numerous moving containers, as well as wrapping and cushioning materials that you almost certainly have in your own home.
As far as eco-friendly moving boxes go, it’s a great idea to first utilize suitable containers that you need to take with you anyway, and then to think about getting hold of recycled cardboard boxes for free or at minimal charge. Suitcases for clothes and books are probably the first thing to come to mind, but see if you can also take advantage of recycled plastic bins (reusable up to 400 times), beer boxes, baskets, laundry hampers, buckets, clean trash cans, drawers, bags (trash, vacuum, Ziploc), etc.
Furthermore, instead of using environmentally unfriendly packing materials such as plastic bubble wrap and Styrofoam packing peanuts, you can easily prove your resolve to plan an eco-friendly move by putting to good practice any green packing, wrapping and cushioning alternatives you can find around you: blankets, towels, bed sheets, pieces of clothing, socks, and even super cheap newspapers.
MUST READ: What packing materials do I already own?
Lighten the load
If you’re really interested in learning how to make your move eco-friendly, then one excellent piece of advice is to declutter your home before the relocation so that you end up taking with you only the items you do need and will use in the near future.
Such an optimization method will help you out on a number of levels.
- Fewer items means that you will lose less time packing and unpacking;
- You will gain uncluttered space in your home;
- You will save money for the transportation of your lighter shipment;
- You can earn money by selling unwanted stuff at a moving sale;
- You can get personal satisfaction by donating still usable items to charitable organizations;
- And finally and most importantly from an environmental point of view, a smaller shipment will require a smaller moving vehicle, which means that fewer exhaust gasses will be released in the atmosphere. That’s right – plan to reduce carbon emissions during transport and you’ll be doing your share of preserving our planet.
Think about the environment after the move
Our eco-friendly moving tips end with the environmentally sound idea of saving energy, creating less waste and recycling after you find yourself in your new home. Alter your old habits to show that you care about the Blue Planet.
- Replace all incandescent light bulbs in your new home with energy saving light fixtures – compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs);
- If needed, think about insulating thermally your new house or apartment;
- Always turn off or unplug any household appliances or electronic devices when they are not in use;
- Recycle properly all moving boxes and packing materials after the move by giving them to other home movers in need (if still usable) or taking them to an adequate recycling center (if too worn out or damaged to be again again).