Each year, about 40 million Americans move to a new home. While the reasons for these moves vary, the desire for green moving tips stays consistent.
Colonial Van Lines provided these seven ideas to help your move be more ‘green’. Whether you’re looking for green moving tips for your upcoming move, or want to help someone else become more eco-friendly, this post is for you. Make your move easier (and greener) with these smart, professional green moving tips and packing hints:
Tip 1: Start Planning Early
The key to making all these green moving tips work is to start early. In addition to making the move more stressful, procrastinating until the 11th hour only increases the likelihood that you’ll forget things. Furthermore, it makes it harder to plan adequately for your trip.
With this in mind, start planning your move as early as possible. Ideally, you should start going through less trafficked areas a month or two in advance. Places like your basement, guest rooms, attic, and closets will help you get a jump start without getting ahead of yourself.
Tip 2: Sell Or Donate Unwanted Items
While it requires some upfront work, the simple act of purging your household will go a long way toward making your move simple and streamlined. Rather than towing them to your new place, why not try selling your bigger unwanted furniture items? Not only will you make some money, but you’ll save on the cost and reduce emissions during the move.
For smaller items that still have some value, you can always throw a yard sale.
What doesn’t sell at the yard sale can then be donated. This ensures that all your unwanted items go to a cause or person who could use them. Moving is the perfect time to donate, read more here. Your unwanted items get an opportunity a second life and reduce their chance of ending up in a landfill.
Tip 3: Hire Eco-Friendly Movers
One of the best green moving tips we have to offer is to hire an eco-friendly mover. There are probably lots of things you evaluate about your moving company. Most shoppers inquire about customer reviews, service offerings, prices and insurance policies, but what about their environmental credentials?
Start by scoping moving companies based on the values they display concerning the environment.
As you interview moving companies, be sure to ask them about their environmental philosophies:
- How do they handle moves?
- Do they use biodiesel trucks?
- Do they use recycled boxes?
Their answers will help you determine which companies are committed to reducing waste and output. As a result, you’ll locate a mover who is experienced in getting you moved in the greenest way possible.
At Colonial Van Lines, we’ve partnered with Move For Hunger, which benefits a humanitarian cause as well as an environmental cause. Move For Hunger arranges for moving companies such as ours to pick up unwanted non-perishable food and deliver it to food banks in need.
Tip 4: Start With On-Hand Containers
Before you start picking up any boxes – recycled, reusable, or otherwise – fill up the containers you already have.
- Storage bins
- Duffel bags
- Laundry baskets
As you pack these things, use items you already own, like socks and t-shirts, to pad the empty space in the containers, instead of investing in packing peanuts and similar items. These hacks will go a long way to reducing the environmental impact of your move. Read our smart and savvy moving hacks blog for more great ideas.
Pro-Tip: If you save piles of plastic grocery bags, they can shine here as padding for fragile items.
Tip 5: Stock Up On Packing Materials
Prior to purchasing boxes, ask around and see if you can pick up used boxes from your friends and relatives. Don’t worry, moving boxes are sturdy. They’re typically tough enough to hold up to several moves before they need to be replaced.
If used moving boxes aren’t an option, you can pick up some sturdy boxes from your local grocery and bulk stores, likely for free! In addition to saving you money, using recycled boxes will also cut down on the waste produced by your move.
Don’t forget there are many businesses around you accepting shipments and packages daily. This means they are unpacking items and discarding those reusable packing supplies at least a few times a week. It may take some deep thinking, but if you need packing supplies like peanuts or other box fillers, it’s worth a try to call around. Retailers who are environmentally conscious may put some aside for you to pick up if you ask nicely.
Tip 6: Use Reusable Plastic Bins
A nice alternative to traditional cardboard boxes is plastic boxes, which can be used and then sent back to the retailer.
Look into rental options like BungoBox, which allow you to rent plastic storage containers and send them back to the company when you’re done. This is a smart, green, cost-effective solution that won’t break the bank. If this option doesn’t catch your eye, a quick Google search for “reusable packing boxes” will reveal lots of companies you can research and consider working with.
Pro-Tip: Ask around your community and social media circles. It’s highly likely that someone has used a solution that could work for you.
Tip 7: Recycling Before and After
Unwanted electronics such as TV’s, computers and cell phones can be recycled. Here is a link that will help you locate a local retailer who will accept your electronics.
As far as boxes and packing items, of course, you can retire them to a recycling bin, but there are more ways you can repurpose them:
- Donate them to a friend who is moving.
- Offer them up in your social media groups or craigslist.
- Call your local realtor to see if their clients are in need.
- Inquire if your child’s school needs them.
- Make something crafty with your kids.
No matter what you do, know that recycling your items will make your move that much greener and reduce the output associated with switching homes.
Green Moving Tips for the Caring Consumer
Your interest in green moving tips is proof that you care about your impact on our environment. By recycling boxes, using containers you already have, and being mindful of what you send to landfills, you are taking a step in the right direction. This way, you can rest assured that you’re decreasing your environmental footprint as much as possible during your big move.