Moving? 7 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
More than 35.5 million Americans move each year, which can leave a huge carbon footprint across the nation. If you plan to move and are eco-friendly, our moving professionals offer these tips for a greener transition to your new home.
1. Donate Unneeded Household Items
There’s an added benefit to packing early: you can eliminate things you don’t want or use anymore. This not only lessens your packing time, but it creates a lighter load that will use less fuel during transport. Make arrangements to donate the household items you no longer need or want.
2. Use Recycled or Repurposed Boxes
Using free boxes that you get from local retailers and other sources is optimal. However, you might need to buy some, so choose recycled boxes that reduce your carbon footprint. You can likely even find a box rental company where you can pick some up and return them after use.
A few good companies save boxes from ending up in landfills and offer them at discount prices. They usually ship fast, are affordable, and provide kits with tape, markers, and recycled packing paper. Some of the boxes are actually new but misprints, so they can be picked up relatively inexpensively, too.
Your professional mover might offer gently used boxes, so check with them as well.
3. Pack in Containers You Have On Hand
Most people have plastic containers already in use within the home, so use those before reaching for boxes. Be resourceful by packing things in coolers, laundry baskets, and don’t forget about using extra suitcases.
Plastic boxes can also be rented and returned to reduce waste. Use soft items like pillows and sheets for padding fragile items instead of paper when possible. As you pack, you’ll discover several clever packing hacks to reduce your space needs.
4. Choose Natural Packing Materials
Avoid buying plastic wrap for furnishings as much as possible. Instead, protect your belongings during the move with Eco-friendly materials or items you have access to already. Sheets or plain muslin material is excellent for wrapping mattresses and furnishings you don’t want to be scratched. Moving blankets and pads are also reusable and are invaluable when moving furniture.
5. Recycle Moving Materials After Unpacking
Be sure to repurpose or recycle all paper and packing cubes along with boxes. Find a friend to give them to, donate them, or go online to find someone who needs them for an upcoming move. Recycling companies often have guidelines you must follow before bringing in items, so be prepared before heading to the facility.
6. Minimize Trips Back and Forth
Do your best to keep trips made to the new house as minimal as possible for a local or nearby move. If you hire a van or moving company, moves often occur with one trip, especially if you pack your personal vehicle, too. Using less fuel and sourcing fewer emissions supports a green move.
7. Hire a Green-Minded Professional Moving Company
If you’re hiring movers to assist you with packing or hauling goods for you, inquire about their environmental processes and credentials. While they might not be a fully green operation, many companies now use Eco-friendly vehicles and sell recycled boxes and supplies.
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