Lots of things we do aren’t wildly environmentally conscientious, including moving. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can make your next cross-country or neighborhood-over move a little more green. Take a look at our list of 10 tips for green moving to get an idea of where to start.
- Do a Purge
We tend to collect things. You likely have a buildup of unnecessary items that you don’t want, need, or even use anymore, especially if you’ve lived at your current place for a while. Whether it’s extra clothes or extra dishes, the more you can get rid of, the greener and more environmentally friendly your move is going to be.
It’s a good idea to start going through your possessions and create an inventory early on, months before your actual move. This way, when moving day comes, you’ll have purged and cleared out all the extras and won’t have to spend extra time, energy, and resources moving them.
- Donate or Sell
After purging, don’t just throw away all the items you no longer need. Go green by donating or selling them. If you throw them away, you’re going to create more waste. If you donate or sell, you’re using sustainable recycling methods to perpetuate the use of certain items without building upon the massive amounts of waste we generate daily.
- Look Into Recycling Options
We all know about food-based recycling, but did you know you can find places to recycle old electronics? Check around your local area for e-waste programs, and be sure to look into carpet recycling options as well.
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- Use Containers You Already Have for Packing
Be smart about packing and look around for containers you already own that would double as packing boxes. If or when you run out of home-based moving containers, order reusable moving boxes that you can store and have on hand for other moves. Green moving boxes are affordable and useful to have. If you purchase some and find you don’t need them after a time, you can always donate them or gift them to someone.
- Find Used Boxes
Thinking you want to use regular cardboard boxes for your move? You can find some. There always seems to be a supply of cardboard boxes if you know where to look. Ask around at local shops or your neighbors. These boxes will usually be free—most people don’t want to hold onto extras, and if you find some at your local stores, they’ll likely be reinforced cardboard that can handle a bit more weight than traditional boxes.
- Use Your Kitchen
Wait to pack your kitchen. We understand that it is one of the home’s largest and most complex areas, so it’s tempting to pack it first. But, if you’re trying to go green with your move, you should hold off. You’re going to need utensils and plates when you eat. Avoid using paper plates and plastic utensils when you order take-out and stick with the real stuff. Or you could leave certain items unpacked to be used for eating.
- Find Eco-Alternatives to Conventional Wrapping
Buying packing materials has an impact on the environment. Instead of spending your hard-earned money and detrimentally affecting the earth, use what you already have to pack. This could include t-shirts, towels, newspapers, etc. Some items are going to need bubble wrap, and that’s OK. You can order eco-friendly bubble wrap and other eco-friendly materials if necessary.
- Avoid Plastic
You might be tempted to use plastic bags or covers to pack up things like utensils or smaller items. Giant plastic wraps are also commonly used for mattresses. There are alternatives you can consider, such as muslin fabric or a painter’s drop cloth. These will have other uses once you get to your new home, so you won’t necessarily be discarding them as you would the plastic coverings.
- Try to Have Fewer Trips Back and Forth
The fewer trips you take to move, the less of an impact you’ll have on the environment. Purging, donating, and selling your extra, unneeded items will help in this effort. But you can also prepare in advance by knowing exactly how much you have and what size of moving vehicle you’ll need. Don’t make five or six trips transporting everything when you can fit it all in a van and get it done in one trip.
- Hire Eco-Friendly Movers
Hiring a moving company with eco-friendly practices is one of the best ways you can implement green moving. From green moving boxes to trucks that run on biodiesel fuel, there will be a myriad of ways a green moving company can make your move all the more environmentally friendly.
Learn More with Colonial Van Lines
Colonial Van Lines offers professional, green moving services to families across the nation. Discover what we can do for you and the environment when you contact us today to learn more.