The moving industry is not known for being very eco-friendly.
The nature of moving includes driving large, heavy vehicles long distances and generating a lot of waste.
Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do to move sustainably.
If you find yourself planning your move, and you would like to do it in an eco-friendly way, you’re at the right spot.
In this article, you’ll find tips on packing, moving, and picking the right moving company for your next eco-friendly move.
Let’s get into it.
When you plan the most eco-friendly move of your life, your main focus will be on packing.
This is when the garbage tends to fill up fast. By using materials you already have and ones donated to you, you can reduce your environmental impact.
Keep the necessities
Let’s start at the very beginning of your move. You’ll go through each room, packing up items and discarding what you don’t need. It’s important to only keep the necessities as you pack.
Lugging around extra items will only weigh down your moving truck, which leads to fuel inefficiency and more gas consumed.
Donate as many household items as you can because someone else can benefit from them. This will prevent someone from buying the same items brand new and using additional manufacturing resources.
Repurpose old items
As you go through your closet, you may find old clothes that are too worn to wear or donate. Instead of throwing them out, repurpose them. Worn t-shirts and towels make great cleaning rags, and those will come in handy as you clean during the move.
You can also use seemingly random odds and ends to create unique decor in your new home. You’d be surprised what you can do with an old bike tire, alarm clock, and cookware.
Recycle what you don’t need
No matter how much you want to repurpose old things, sometimes it’s impossible. However, this doesn’t mean you should throw everything else in the garbage.
Use your local recycling center to take care of paper, plastic, metal, and glass items. It’s also important to find a facility that will recycle electronics.
Items you can’t compost or recycle should go in the garbage.
Reuse moving boxes
You may be wondering how you’re supposed to plan the most eco-friendly move when there are so many boxes involved. Actually, it’s simple if you reuse boxes. One way to do this is to ask local grocery stores for cardboard boxes. These are great for moving, especially wine boxes.
Another way is to use boxes you already have at home. They can be cardboard boxes from your last move or plastic totes. You can also use everyday objects like plastic containers, suitcases, and other containers.
For this, however, you’ll want to contact your moving company. Some companies will have regulations about the types of boxes that you can use.
Use alternative wrapping materials
A lot of moving waste comes from packing materials. Think of all the plastic you use when wrapping your more fragile belongings. However, plastic isn’t the only material that works.
Newspapers, towels, t-shirts, and curtains are all great for wrapping. You’ll have to pack all that stuff anyway, so why not use it for wrapping?
If you must use bubble wrap and plastic wrap for breakable items, choose products made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
Eat with reusable materials
When you’re in the middle of packing for the most eco-friendly move, leave out a few utensils and a plate. If you have a mess kit for camping, this works especially well.
The typical move consists of eating takeout and using disposable plates and utensils. Having reusable ones will keep your trash from overflowing before moving day. By all means, eat all the takeout you want, but remember to be environmentally friendly when you do.
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When you choose eco-friendly packing methods, it’s easy to make moving eco-friendly. There are a handful of ways to do this, from picking the right moving company to adapting your lifestyle in your new home.
Choose an eco-friendly moving company
Did you know that you can hire a green moving company that’s committed to moving sustainably? These companies will do everything they can to care for the environment through their business practices. A perfect example of one of these companies is Ekomovers.
Ekomovers commits to the following activities that set them apart for their eco-friendliness.
- They plant a tree for every move.
- They sponsor planting new trees in the communities all over the world through Trees for the Future and other programs.
- They invite their customers to come volunteer with them at the local parks districts for community days to plant trees with them.<.li>
- Their diesel trucks use biodiesel fuel when available.
- They volunteer for river cleanups with their local parks districts.
- They use 100% recycled cardboard boxes for pack jobs
- They use biodegradable shrink wrap.
- They use 100% recycled packing paper.
This is truly an exemplary company and we can recommend them not only for their sustainability practices but also because they’re generally great movers and are exceptional at getting deliveries done quickly and efficiently.
See this and other companies we recommend in our list of the best interstate moving companies.
Take fewer trips
This step is easy if you hire an environmentally-friendly moving company, but you can also do it yourself. To decrease the amount of fuel you use during your move, take fewer trips.
If you buy supplies from the store, get everything in one trip. When moving your belongings to your new home, take the least number of trips as possible.
This will lower your carbon footprint while moving, which will make both the environment and your wallet happy.
Dispose of supplies properly
It’s also important that you dispose of your moving supplies properly. For most items, like bubble wrap and cardboard boxes, you can save them for the next move.
If you don’t plan on moving again, sell them on Craiglist or donate them to a friend or family member in need.
If boxes break or the bubble wrap is all popped, be sure to recycle them.
Stay green in your new home
This last step will complete the most eco-friendly move you’ve ever planned. Once you arrive at your new home, commit to living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
This includes using non-toxic cleaning supplies like vinegar and baking soda and using non-VOC paint. You should ensure your home and appliances are energy-efficient. LED light fixtures will also help you use less energy.
The Most Eco-Friendly Move Will Change Your Moving Habits
Once you have a sustainable move, you likely won’t want to move any other way again. Not only is this style of moving great for the environment, but it saves you money too. When you reuse moving materials, you won’t have to buy more again. When you recycle, you allow someone else to reuse the same materials, which cuts down on manufacturing.
Are you inspired to make your next move safer for the environment? Tell us which tips you want to implement in the comments section.