With Earth Day coming up in about a month, you may find yourself wondering how you can make your upcoming move as environmentally-friendly as possible. Although moving isn’t exactly considered a sustainable process, there are a number of small tips and practices that you can implement into your own move to help ease the burden on the environment. In fact, it’s actually pretty simple to embrace this idea of “green moving,” and reduce your carbon footprint in the process. With that said, let’s take a look at 6 sustainable moving tips to incorporate into your next move.
Although this may seem obvious, planning ahead is a crucial component to moving in an eco-friendly way. You’ll be amazed at how something so simple as planning can save you in terms of disorganization, waste, buying things you don’t need, and making numerous trips between locations. Plan your relocation as far in advance as you can and pack in a strategic way.
Pack so that all of the items that you’ll need in the weeks and days leading up to your move are out of your boxes. That way, you won’t have to run out and purchase items that you already own and are inconveniently packed away and out of sight. This will help keep you from buying things you already have, which eliminates a considerable amount of waste.
Also, start packing early, label boxes accordingly, and plan your route so that you can avoid having to make unnecessary trips. Aside from these steps, planning can be as simple as starting to collect moving supplies in the weeks before your move.
Pro Tip: In the weeks leading up to your move, start saving your junk mail, as well as any boxes or packing materials that come with your online purchases. Set these items aside to be reused when the time comes to start packing up your household goods.
Sell, donate, or gift.
As you start packing, go through everything and be selective about what you know that you’ll need in your new home. For anything that you want to purge, avoid tossing it and sell it for cheap, donate it, or gift the item to a friend. As the saying goes, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” It’s highly likely that much of the things you no longer need will be incredibly useful to someone else.
To move sustainably practice mindful recycling, donating, gifting, or selling, rather than throwing items in the trash. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and OfferUp are some of the best and most convenient platforms to sell your unwanted goods. Plus, when you do this before your move, you’ll make your move lighter and may save money!
Use what you have.
Odds are you’re going to need to acquire some moving boxes for your relocation, but you can significantly cut down on the amount by using containers and supplies you already have. These might include any of the following:
- Plastic storage bins
- Reusable grocery bags
- Duffel bags and gym bags
- Dresser drawers
- Laundry baskets
- Trash bags
As you’re packing, if you notice an item can fit other things inside of it, fill it up! For instance, you put a clean bag in your small bathroom trash can and use it to store some of your bathroom items that need to be packed. The more than you can stuff into the containers you already own, the less moving boxes you’ll need to purchase or find.
When it comes to packing supplies, you can get creative. Before you go out and purchase a bunch of packing materials that are typically difficult to dispose of, start with what you already own. Use linens, towels, clothing and comforters to wrap up your fragile items, instead of packing paper or bubble wrap. If you need more materials, opt for items that can be easily recycled like old newspaper, and junk mail.
Opt for eco-friendly moving supplies.
If you still find that you need more containers to pack your items, make sure that you select bins and boxes that can be repurposed after your move. This also ensures that you have more storage options when you arrive at your new home. Another way to move green is to only buy moving boxes as a last resort, and try to get them used first.
Check with your family, friends, and local retail and grocery stores to see if they have any spare boxes they’d be willing to part with. You can also put a general post on social media or check websites such as Craigslist or Freecycle to see if anyone is giving away their used moving boxes.
Finally, ditch the packing peanuts and plastic wrap. These are both single-use products and are major contributors to waste during the moving process. There are plenty of bio-degradable, eco-friendly alternatives to choose from, like cornstarch peanuts or newspaper. Opting for these types of materials over more traditional supplies ensures that you are moving more sustainably.
Hire green movers.
One of the greatest ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint while moving is to hire a moving company that is committed to green practices. Green moving companies will use biodiesel instead of traditional fuel in their trucks and many will use reusable moving boxes.
If hiring green movers is really important to you, here are some questions you can ask potential moving companies to determine if they practice environmentally friendly guidelines:
- Do you use reusable moving boxes, containers, or bins?
- Are you packing materials and supplies biodegradable?
- What can you tell me about your company’s sustainability practices?
- Do you try to take all items in a single trip?
- What else does your company do to ensure that you are moving in an eco-friendly way?
Movers that prioritize environmentally-friendly practices will have the knowledge and equipment to execute your move with the least amount of impact on the environment. Knowing which moving companies in your area are dedicated to green moving is one of the greatest ways to move sustainably.
Make your new home green.
Another excellent way to move green is to make your new home as green as possible, upon settling in. After all, the most environmentally-friendly moves are those that continue practicing sustainability even after the move has completed. Some ways that you can make your new home green include:
- Switch out all the lightbulbs with LED lights
- Register for paperless on all your bills
- Make your own cleaning supplies
- Start composting your food scraps
- Reduce water waste by purchasing a conserving showerhead
- Install solar panels on your home
- Reduce your time in the shower
- Don’t run your faucets while brushing your teeth or washing dishes
- Buy more energy-efficient appliances
Aside from this list, always find new ways to be sustainable in your daily life. One of the best places to implement more eco-friendly habits is at the grocery store. Purchase produce and items with little to no packaging, and bring your own reusable bags. Also, try to go paperless in the kitchen by using reusable napkins and towels, and avoiding plastic silverware and single-use dishes.
Here at Three Men And A Truck, we understand that every individual must do their part to take care of our planet and treat the environment with the respect it deserves. Contact Three Men And A Truck today to speak with one our moving experts about your upcoming move, receive a free, no-obligation quote, and discuss our sustainable moving practices.