When you start packing and preparing for your upcoming move, you might feel discouraged about how you can move your things safely and easily but still follow an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. There are actually plenty of green options for moving and packing that can help you to move easily without worrying about how it will affect the planet. Here are some things to consider for your green move.
Rent your supplies.
If you're worried about using disposable items like cardboard boxes, plastic bags, or foam packing peanuts to protect your items in the move, you might consider renting moving items instead. For example, many moving companies offer plastic bins for packing that you can rent along with your moving truck. Since many people will use the bins and they won't be thrown away or destroyed in a single move, it's a more appealing option for an environmentally-conscious move.
Choose recycled or reused options.
If renting bins for your move is not possible, avoid purchasing new boxes for your move. Instead, start by collecting boxes from local stores and office supply shops. These boxes are typically thrown out by many businesses, so if you save them from hitting the dumpster and choose to recycle them once your move is complete, you'll have done a small part in keeping cardboard from contributing to the landfill. Use paper packing tape instead of plastic, as some paper tapes can be made from recycled materials.
You can also pack your fragile items with recycled options. Forgo styrofoam packing peanuts and opt for
- shredded paper. You can collect shredded paper from local offices who routinely shred documents.
- starch packing peanuts. These are similar to styrofoam packing products, but they are made from plant starch and are biodegradable.
- old newsprint. Collect newspapers from your neighbors and from your local newspaper office.
- clothes and towels. You're packing your clothing and washcloths anyway, so why not put them to good use and use fewer paper products along the way?
Remember, you can always recycle these items once you have unpacked and finished your move. Bubble wrap, shrink wrap, and other plastic-based products are also often reusable, but research them beforehand to make sure they can be recycled in your area.
Downsize your load.
People add to their carbon footprint during a move through how much stuff they pack and move. You use fewer boxes, less gas, and need a smaller vehicle if you have fewer things. Consider moving toward a more minimalist lifestyle by
- selling items that are hardly used, even if they are useful. Just keep the things you use on a day-to-day basis. You'll learn how to borrow or do without when it comes to once-in-a-while possessions.
- limiting your possessions to a specific number of boxes. Collect your boxes first, and make a pact with yourself that you won't buy any more. Whatever doesn't fit in your packing boxes can be donated to a local shelter or thrift shop.
- keeping items that have multiple purposes. For example, your blender, mixer, immersion blender, and food processor all have different functions in the kitchen. Carefully look for overlaps. Can your blender do most of what your food processor does? If you have things that overlap, choose one and get rid of the other.
Chose the right vehicle.
Many companies rent trucks that have terrible mileage and guzzle fossil fuels while producing terrible emissions. Take some time to shop around with moving companies to find vehicle alternatives, like ones that run on ethanol or bio-diesel instead of straight gasoline. Some may even offer battery-operated cars for smaller loads.
For more information on going green with your move, contact a moving company in your area for the right supplies and click here to find out more.