Moving is frustrating. We get it. You have a million things on your mind and your to-do-list. You’re probably not thinking about your carbon footprint as you’re packing boxes, cleaning untouched corners of your house, reserving self-storage units, forwarding your mail, and all that other good stuff. But when you take a deep breath and a step back, many of us environmentally conscious folk realize that there might be ways we can minimize planetary harm and still move our life from point A to B.
When you think about it you’ll realize just how earth-taxing dragging all your earthly possessions across the state or country really is. There’s the fuel, the things you toss out, and the packing materials you use once and then throw away. It all adds up, so do your move right and follow these moving tips to help save the environment.
Donate, Don’t Ditch
When packing for a big move, you will no doubt run into items collecting dust that you won’t want to take with you. Moving is the perfect time to get rid of old clothes, books, and furniture. But simply throwing this stuff away means contributing to our landfill problems. Furniture, in fact, gets thrown out at ridiculous levels—the EPA reports it makes up some 9.8 million tons of landfill waste per year! By donating these goods to charities like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, or the National Furniture Bank Association, you’ll be reducing the amount of buried garbage on our planet. Also, many of these organizations will pick up larger donations right from your home—Check that off your to-do list!
Recycle, Don’t Trash
Recycling isn’t just about plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. Many household goods can be recycled too—everything from batteries to old electronics. You obviously can’t throw these in the recycling bin, but you can take them to a special center instead of tossing them in the trash. (I know, a little more work, but worth it!) Check out these common recyclables:
· Batteries: Batteries contain toxic substances like lead, sulfuric acid, and cadmium, which are not ideal to be tossed away into landfills. These chemicals can leak into nearby waterways and taint plant and animal ecosystems. Your local library or post office usually has a recycling center for batteries.
· Electronics: Electronics and power cords can be recycled at local resource recovery centers. So don’t toss that old PC you have in the basement. Also, you can take them to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity—places that often accept these kinds of goods as donations.
· Appliances: Old TVs, microwaves, and other appliances often contain lead and other harmful substances—so be sure to take it to a local Best Buy, where it will be recycled no matter where you bought it from.
· Paint Cans: Many resource recovery centers accept open cans of paint, stain, and varnish.
Pack with Reusable Plastic Containers and Storage Boxes
Cardboard boxes are easy to recycle. Bubble wrap, tape, and packing peanuts you use in those boxes are not. Help the environment and keep your home goods intact by investing in a set of hard, reusable plastic bins. They make great storage containers when the move is over! Don’t want all that plastic cluttering up your new home? Use a returnable box service that lets you bring your bins back when you’re done. Greenbox offers free use of our reusable moving and packing boxes.
Hire an Eco-Friendly Moving Company
Don’t think movers haven’t been following the trends. Now that green is in, many movers have invested in eco-friendly practices and products, like lower-emissions trucks, recycled cardboard boxes, or LED cargo areas, which will all keep your move more energy-efficient. If you’re driving your own moving truck, you can save energy by reducing your speed a few miles-per-hour—it’s safer, too! Best of all, Greenbox offers the Free use of it’s moving truck for all customers!
Get a Greener Clean
There are some things our grandparents definitely got right, like how to clean your home without harmful chemicals. Vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia make low-impact replacements for a number of household cleaning agents, like scouring powder, all-purpose cleaners, and kitchen cleaners. Your new home will have that environmentally-friendly sparkle!
Turn Over a New Leaf in Your Home
Every move is like getting a fresh do-over. Use this relocation as a chance to purge excess clutter, and make a new commitment to not buy junk you don’t need. Take time to consider your purchases, instead of springing for impulse buys and sales. That’ll be less to toss next time you move, which hopefully won’t happen anytime soon!