Moving homes is an inevitable part of life for many but leaving a huge carbon footprint when you do doesn’t have to be.
While big businesses are responsible for producing the greatest amount of greenhouse emissions, the planet is ours as well, and every tiny bit of eco-friendliness goes a long way.
But choosing to move in a more eco-friendly way comes with its own questions. What kind of packaging should I use? How do you avoid producing unnecessary waste? Questions such as these are an essential part of the “eco-friendly move” discussion.
If you’re someone who’s looking for eco-friendly tips for your next move, then don’t worry. This article was written with people like you in mind! Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your move more sustainable and eco-friendly. So, let’s get started!
1. Donate or sell everything you don’t need
A move is a perfect opportunity for getting rid of items you no longer need. Being selective about what you want to keep will also help make your move more manageable and the process much smoother.
Before you start packing, go through all your clothing, kitchen items, and furniture and start making piles of things you don’t want to keep.
Then instead of throwing it all away, consider selling or donating the items you think you won’t need. Craigslist and Facebook are examples of good platforms for selling used household items.
Also, if you have a bunch of old mobile devices or batteries lying around, remember to dispose of them properly because they can cause significant harm to the environment.
Best Buy (and other large electronic stores) often allow you to bring in your old electronic devices and recycle them on your behalf.
Finally, if the items you no longer need can’t be sold or donated, you can have a professional removalist company like 1300 Rubbish take care of them.
2. Use clothes and linens to wrap fragile items
Not only is this packing method zero-waste, but it’s also a very creative way of packing soft fabric items like towels, clothes, and blankets.
Wrapping ceramic plates and other breakables in linens or clothes often works as good as bubble wrap and can help you cut down on the need for unnecessary single-use packaging materials.
The best part about using soft clothes and linens as cushions? They are free, always readily available around the house, and are a great way to move more sustainably. If you are using a professional moving company, however, this might not be an option.
3. Pack items in containers you already have
You’re always going to need at least some boxes during your move. But you can significantly cut down on the total number required by thinking out of the box!
For example, instead of using moving boxes, you should try using containers you already have lying around the house to pack your items. Some household containers you could use instead of boxes include:
- Gym bags
- Plastic bins
- Recyclable grocery totes
Basically, if you have any item that can store other things inside, always be sure to use up that storage space before packing it. Because the more we can fit in containers we already have, the more we can prevent relying on moving boxes.
4. If you do end up needing boxes, get them used
To make your move more eco-friendly, consider packing your items in leftover or used boxes and try to keep buying new moving boxes as a final resort.
Ask around, call your friends, family members, or local retail stores to see if anyone has boxes leftover that you can reuse for your move.
During my last move, I got a bunch of boxes from my nearest grocery store at no cost. Most stores are more than happy to give them out for free.
5. Buy biodegradable supplies
Traditional packing practices involve using a myriad of eco-unfriendly items such as styrofoam packing peanuts and plastic wraps. These single-use items are often the biggest contributors to waste during a move.
Luckily, there are now tons of sustainable alternatives to traditional packing supplies. For example, instead of buying standard styrofoam packing peanuts, you can get biodegradable cornstarch peanuts instead to move more sustainably.
6. Try renting reusable moving boxes
Many moving companies offer rental services for reusable plastic boxes, which is something that you should definitely consider using.
But you might be wondering, “Isn’t plastic terrible for the environment?” Well, not in this case. Because most moving companies use storage boxes made from recycled plastic and materials and are reused many times over, reducing landfill waste from one-time use boxes.
7. Hire a green moving service
One of the easiest ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint during your move is to hire a “green” moving company that adopts sustainable practices.
Most green moving companies use vehicles that run on biodiesel or hybrid fuel instead of regular gas and can also provide you with reusable moving boxes to curb the need for cardboard boxes.
But before going with a local eco-friendly moving company, be sure to go through their website and their reviews to find out if they really do practice what they preach.