Moving is a tedious task that can take its toll on you, as well as the environment. Moving usually entails lots of paper, plastic and gasoline, but with a little creativity, it’s easy to find ways to save resources. Here are some tips for keeping your move eco-friendly.
1- Reusable Packing
Because you’ll be taking all of your clothes and linens with you anyway, why not use them for packing material? Fabric is a much better shock absorber than paper. It’s also free and eliminates the need for products like bubble wrap. Small, fragile items can even be slid into socks for improved safety!
2- Truck Rental
While some people moving locally prefer to transport belongings using their own vehicle in order to save money, renting a moving truck for the day can actually be the better option. Not only can it save you money on gas, but it’s also better for the environment. A single trip with a moving truck emits less pollution than several trips by car.
3- Recycled Materials
Many places sell boxes for moving, but why pay when you can reuse older ones for free? Take a stroll through alleys and behind stores. Often times, you’ll find recycling dumpsters filled with boxes of all shapes and sizes. All you need to do is reassemble them. When you’re finished moving, put them back into the recycling dumpster and enjoy the fact that your packing had no negative impact on the environment.
4- Better Bulbs
When you get to your new place, one of the first things you should do is switch out any incandescent bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescents. These bulbs requires less energy and they’ll last for years before needing replacement, which will also save you money. It’s a good idea to purchase the smallest wattage you think you’ll need, keeping in mind that these bulbs get very bright.
5- Efficiency Packing
In order to reduce the amount of boxes, packing materials, space and trips you will need to move all of your things, it’s important to pack them as efficiently as possible. Place as many objects as reasonably possible into each box and try not to use a lot of small boxes.
6- Donation Station
When people move, it’s very common for them to dispose of some things to make the process easier. Much of the time, these are perfectly good items like furniture, clothes and other objects which are still usable. Rather than sentencing them to the landfill, consider donating them instead. There are many charities which take items like these and sell them at a low cost to help people in need.
Moving might be rough on you, but that doesn’t mean it should be rough on the planet. By following even a couple of these tips, you can greatly reduce the impact that your move has on the environment.
Image by Justin Shearer, and licensed through Creative Commons