Did you know that by making a few small changes to your next move you can make a huge impact on the environment? It’s as simple as changing which belongings you pack, how you pack them, and how you transport them that can protect the planet in a big way. There’s more to it than finding “green movers” – check out these eco-friendly moving tips for easy steps to a more “green” move.
Moving can be a great excuse to kick that hoarding habit and donate or recycle things you no longer need. You’ll use fewer packing materials and may reduce your moving truck gas mileage by getting rid of some of your burdensome old belongings, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint. Consider donating some of your lightly used items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or the Vietnam Veterans of America. If you have a large donation, you can schedule a pickup with your local chapter of one of these organizations. If you have more expensive items that you’d rather not donate, consider selling them on Craigslist or eBay. You might also consider holding a garage sale- garage sales are a great way to find new homes for your old belongings while bringing your community together and making a few bucks.
Get the Right Boxes or Bins
Green moving boxes are – contrary to what you may believe – not boxes painted in green. Whether you plan to buy or find your moving boxes, take a second to think about the environment and find the greenest alternatives. If you’re planning to buy new boxes, make sure you only buy what you need. Unpakt’s Box Guide can help you determine the right number of boxes for your belongings so you can purchase them accordingly. In addition to buying new, you can also save materials and money by finding boxes that have been used and are still in great condition. Check behind local grocery and retail stores for boxes they’ve discarded or try visiting some of these places to find free moving boxes.
Another option to consider is renting reusable bins made out of recycled plastic instead of purchasing cardboard boxes. This option can be more cost effective than purchasing cardboard boxes and can save you time as most companies who offer this service drop-off and pick-up their bins.
Finally, think about utilizing materials you already have to help with packing. Take advantage of those cardboard boxes from your last trip to Costco, put clothing in suitcases rather than boxes or bins, and use shoeboxes or sandwich bags to pack small items.
Use Environmentally Friendly Packing Materials
You may not know this, but your home is already full of packing materials! In lieu of bubble wrap or packing peanuts, use newspaper, egg cartons, blankets, and towels to pad fragile belongings. Newspaper is very well suited for protecting glassware, plates, and other fragile items. If you prefer to purchase padding, opt for reusable pads, recyclable packing paper, and specially marked biodegradable bubble wrap and peanuts. A green moving company will be able to provide you with reusable, eco-friendly packing materials as well as boxes and bins.
Use Greener Transportation
In July of this year, California Governor Jerry Brown revealed his ambitious plan to revolutionize the way cargo is moved across the state and set a new, zero-emissions standard for the industry. If an entire state can have its cargo shipped in an emissions-free manner, we can manage to green move a few boxes around, can we not?
Using eco-friendly transportation is imperative to green moving. As awareness of the issue grows many companies in the industry are adopting a zero emissions approach: many full-service moving companies provide rental trucks that use cleaner biodiesel fuel, and many truck rental companies offer similar options for a DIY move. For longer-distance moves, pack your belongings in a compartmentalized truck with other movers. This is called consolidated shipping, and it’s a great way to reduce your move’s carbon footprint. Shipping your belongings by train is also a good idea for a greener move.
Please share with us your own green moving experience, we would love to be inspired!