Moving from one home to another almost always adds some level of chaos to your life for a short period of time. However, have you ever thought about the chaos it brings to the environment? Add up all those carboard boxes, styrofoam packing peanuts and newspaper and you’ve got quite a lot of waste being produced every time a family moves. Many people think that going green takes a lot of effort but in some cases it can actually add simplicity to a process such as moving. Here are a few ways to make your next move more green while also making your move a happier one.
Clean out and donate: I always thought that plenty of closet space was a crucial element for any home. However, I’ve learned that the more closet space I have, the more “stuff” I collect that I really don’t need. Moving is a great time to clean out the closets and get rid of the stuff you no longer want, use or need. Better yet, instead of just throwing things out, make a pile of gently used items that you can drop off at your local donation center.
- The bonus for you: The less stuff you have to move the better and you’ll be glad come moving day that you’ve limited the number of boxes that need to be hauled. Not only that but if you donate your items and collect a tax receipt it will all be tax deductible which means more money in your pocket at tax season.
- Why the environment will thank you: Whenever you donate an item you give it another chance to be used which lowers the amount of junk going to the landfill.
Don’t buy boxes: With the amount of cardboard boxes being used and discarded every day it amazes me that people ever have to purchase boxes new. Ask your friends and family if anyone has boxes that they want to donate to your cause. If that doesn’t work, post an ad on Craigs List or find a local company that rents gently used boxes. Corrugated cardboard boxes are made to withstand much more than one move so try and find free boxes wherever you can to avoid buying new ones.
- The bonus for you: It will save you money!
- Why the environment will thank you: Every time a box is recycled that means one less box is going to a landfill that day.
Swap towels and linens for styrofoam alternatives: When it comes to packing up fragile items many people use styrofoam packing “peanuts” to pad their items and prevent breakage. Do the earth a favor and steer away from these often-unrecyclable materials and opt instead to use something you already have around the house. Hand towels, wash clothes and other home linens make for great insulators against breakage.
- The bonus for you: Not only will you save some money on packing supplies but you’ll also have less boxes to move since your linens will be taking the space of the styrofoam peanuts.
- Why the environment will thank you: Aside from the new packing materials that actually dissolve in water many of the materials still being used take years to break down in a landfill. Use what you have and avoid knowing that those packing peanuts will outlive you.
Make One Trip: If you’re making a local move you might be considering making multiple trips in your own vehicle instead of renting a moving truck. Not only can this mean lots of unnessecary travel but the extra emissions created are not helping air quality. Consider renting a moving truck for the day from a local rental company.
- The bonus for you: Making one trip means all of your stuff is always in one place at one time. No wondering if the box of drinking glasses made it with the last trip. Also, oftentimes when you rent a moving truck they will throw in blankets and dollys to help move your furntiture
- Why the environment will thank you: One trip even in a large sized moving truck means you are using less fuel and creating less emissions.
Opt for paperless billing: Since you will need to change your address it’s a convenient time to also change your method of billing. Many companies that bill you monthly for various services such as ultilities, insurance and loan repayment can change your billing delivery to paperless so you will no longer receive bills in the mail. Just be sure to always add your service provider’s email address to your “Not Spam” list so your bills are always delivered promptly.
- The Bonus for you: Sometimes service providers will actually reward you for opting into paperless billing by making a small deduction from your monthly amount owed.
- Why the environment will thank you: Less paper billing means less trees being cut down to produce paper each year. Do you part and take advantage of the green nature of the internet by getting your bills emailed to you each month.