Moving is not only damaging to your wallet and your mental state (it can be extremely stressful) but it’s also harmful to the environment. And today, when we all need to do our best in order to reduce pollution, having an eco-friendly move is more important than ever. So, here’s how you can have a sustainable and eco-friendly relocation no matter if you’re moving to a different part of town or to a new continent.
This is an obvious step when you’re moving, but the earlier you start to declutter the better results you’ll achieve. Put everything you own on a piece of paper and start to remove duplicates and things you don’t need. You’ll discover pretty quickly that you own three identical thermoses you never use or three spatulas, two of which you never take out of your cutlery drawer. You can easily give away your duplicates or throw away items that are broken and greatly outdated. If you start packing early, you can even join various sharing economy services (library, streaming services, tool sharing) that will help you reduce moving costs and allow you to reduce clutter in the future.
Organize a yard sale
Assess all your possessions before you start packing and see what items don’t spark joy in you anymore. These items still have a use though, and someone else might find them really practical. So make sure not to waste resources on moving unwanted items and organize a yard sale. Once you sell all the items you don’t want in your home, you can invest in something more practical or even use the money to pay for your move.
Choose the right means of transportation
While vans and trucks can be very practical for moving, they do produce a lot of pollution, especially if you’re not mindful of the number of trips you take. If you’re moving long-distance, your safest solution is shipping containers. If you find a good shipping container transport agency, you can get your container transported by rail, and reduce CO2 emissions, energy consumption and noise pollution in cities. Plus, your container is almost guaranteed to arrive in one piece — the railroad is usually very safe.
Reduce the number of trips
Skip the small trips with your car and focus on moving as many items as possible at once. Shipping containers are a great solution since they are big and can fit all your possessions, and you can remove them in one single trip. If you’re doing the moving yourself, pack as much as you can into your car or van, so you can reduce the number of trips and minimize your carbon footprint.
Be sustainable with boxes
Instead of wasting all that cardboard, order reusable moving boxes. If you have time, visit your local corner shop or drinks store and ask whether they can spare some boxes after you receive a new delivery. These boxes will be free yet very sturdy (bottle transport requires reinforced cardboard) perfect for packing up your kitchen.
Think outside the box, literally
Many things you have at home can be used as moving containers. For instance, kitchen goods can be put into pots and pans instead of boxes. Vases can be used for storing cutlery. Think outside the box and you’ll be surprised what you come up with and how many boxes you can save.
Ditch packing materials
While cardboard boxes can be easily recycled and reused, some other packing materials create a lot of unrecyclable waste. So, make sure to ditch all the packing materials that are difficult or impossible to safely dispose of. It’s best to use what you already have at home like towels, linens, clothes and comforters to wrap up your fragile items and make transportation safer. If you need additional protection, use your magazines and newspapers that can be thrown into your regular recycling bin. In case you need to use some plastics, check out websites like Recycle Finder so you can see where you can dump your plastic waste after you’re finished with it.
Once you arrive at your location, make sure to have a smart unpacking system. As you grab your boxes, make sure to close the door behind each person. If the weather is nice, don’t turn on your heating or cooling until you finish bringing things inside. This will reduce your energy usage from the very first day you spend in your new home.
If we want to make a change in the world, we can’t be green one day and wasteful the other. Even during your move, you can do plenty of things to improve eco-friendliness and sustainability and ensure your move leaves a minimal carbon footprint.
Written by Derek Lotts
About the Author
Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment. Find Derek on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
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