How can you make your move eco-friendly? Earth Day isn’t the only time to think about how you help to care for the planet. If you’re on a mission to green your life, take a look at the prep, packing, and unpacking steps to help you reduce, recycle, and reuse.
Eco-Friendly Moving Prep
Careful preparation is the first step to an eco-friendly move. This includes de-cluttering and downsizing. Sort everything from old documents to your clothes — and separate your belongings into categories, rooms, or to-go and no-go piles.
What should you do with anything you don’t have room for or don’t want to move? Before you toss old items in the trash or box anything you want to bring with you, stop and take some time to consider what you can:
- Recycle. You can’t put everything you won’t take with you in the recycling bin. Ask your local waste management authority about the community’s recycling rules. In general, you can recycle some types of paper/board, certain plastics, and glass.
- Upcycle. The inability to recycle everything doesn’t mean some of your no-go items should end up in a landfill. Upcycle old towels or fabric as protective packing materials or reuse un-recyclable plastic containers as mini moving bins.
- Donate or give away. Some of your de-cluttered items may not fit into a recycle or upcycle category. Instead of tossing these picks, explore donation options or ask friends and family if they could use your unwanted furniture, clothes, or home accents.
Now that you know what you’ll move, recycle, upcycle, or give away, it’s time to take the next step and gather together your packing supplies.
Eco-Friendly Moving Supplies
You don’t have to spend the bulk of your moving budget on so-called eco-friendly or green ready-made packing supplies. Chances are you have plenty of environmentally-conscious items around the house already. Continue to reuse and upcycle what you have at home and use:
- Old boxes. Put the pile of boxes from everything you’ve ordered online in the past year to use for your move. Use appliance or electronics boxes for larger items and smaller packages to contain kitchenware or home accents.
- Towels and clothes. Again, you can upcycle these soft fabric items as packing supplies. Roll towels, shirts, or even socks to cushion dishware or glassware during your move.
- Old blankets. Old blankets and comforters are too large to cushion fragile items inside of boxes. But you can use these potential throwaway picks to protect furniture before during and after the move.
Not only can you upcycle cardboard boxes, towels, clothes, blankets, and other similar items into moving materials, this type of reuse eliminates the need for new less eco-friendly supplies. Materials such as polystyrene (or Styrofoam) packing peanuts take centuries to degrade. The use of this type of supply increases the negative impact your move has on the environment.
After you reduce, recycle, reuse, and pack your home, you’re ready to move. What can you do to make the next part of the process greener? Some of the simple steps you can take include:
- Reduce the number of vehicles. A fleet of your friends’ cars or minivans may seem like an economical way to move. But the higher number of vehicles emits more greenhouse gases. Instead of dozens of SUVs or other similarly-sized vehicles, higher a moving company and one truck.
- Reduce the number of trips. The back and forth between your old and new homes adds to the overall vehicle emissions. A moving truck allows you to move everything at one time — instead of several mini trips.
- Reduce post–move packing supplies. After the move is complete, reduce and recycle moving supplies, such as cardboard boxes or plain packing paper.
Talk to your moving contractor about ways to make the process greener. The professional may have additional ideas to help you reduce, reuse, and more.
Are you ready to move? Contact Dixie Moving & Storage, Inc., for more information.