Come September I will have made my third move in less than four months. Consequently I’ve learned not only do I hate moving with a fiery passion, but it is also not exactly the most eco-friendly activity in the world. Mother Nature hates it just as much as we do, what with all the trees we kill using so many boxes and so much newspaper to pack. But if you’re planning on moving, take a minute to read through our quick, easy tips to make your move a little greener.
1. Plan, plan, plan: I can hear you saying “duh” on the other side of the screen. But seriously, it is so easy to get caught up in the stress of moving that you don’t necessarily address the situation with a clear head. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the eleventh hour to start packing up your stuff, always start a few weeks out. That way you don’t risk discovering how much extra stuff you really have at the last minute, causing more stress and extra trips with a car not suited for the amount of boxes you are taking with you. To get started in your planning process check out this Moving Checklist by Real Simple.
2. Sort through your stuff: Planning ahead also leads directly into tip number two: go through your stuff before you pack it up. While it is tempting just to throw everything into a box and call it a day, or toss it in the trash, neither option is doing anyone any favors. Having less stuff means less to transport to the new place. Attending one of our Swap Events near you is always a good tip for unloading items you may not need anymore. Also, holding a garage sale earns you some extra cash for things you aren’t using anymore, and donating your old items keeps them out of a landfill.
Extra tip: my rule of thumb for deciding what to keep and what to donate is, if there was a fire and I lost the item and I wouldn’t miss it, it gets donated. You may laugh, but trust me, it works.
3. Use recycled packing material: There are tons of ways to implement this, and it’s actually an opportunity to get a little creative. Ask your neighbors or local stores for extra boxes, pack as much as you can in suitcases and bins you already own, rent a reusable plastic moving container (check out companies such as Frogbox or Rent-A-Green Box), wrap your breakables in clothes and sheets instead of newspaper or bubble wrap. The list is endless.
4. Travel green: If you’re one of the lucky ones that can hire a moving company or a moving van, try to find one that is eco-friendly and utilizes biodiesel fuel. If you’re using your own vehicles to move, pack the car to the gills to minimize the number of trips you have to take. It’s all about minimizing the amount of emissions on the day of your move.
5. Recycle! Once you have arrived at your destination and unpacked boxes upon boxes, don’t forget to recycle all that cardboard and plastic.
Now you are armed and ready with the tools necessary to make your next move as green as possible! Have any other tips for our friends undertaking a move in the near future? Share your green tips in the comments section below or keep the conversation going on our Facebook page.
(Photo by Meathead Movers)