Earth Day isn't the only time when you should be focused on being eco-friendly. Although moving can be a very stressful time, taking the right steps to reduce waste and energy can benefit you as well as the earth.
Not sure how to move while staying green? Below are some easy-to-follow options and tips to make your relocation seamless and eco-friendly at the same time.
How to go green before your move
There are a number of things to do before you move that don't require much effort on your part other than an environmentally conscious mindset.
- Eliminate the excess clothing, unwanted furniture, knick-knacks or other household goods you no longer use. The fewer items you have to pack, the less you will use in packing materials. The less weight you will have going into a moving truck, the less fuel will be burned. You can hold a garage or yard sale, or donate unwanted items in good condition to local charities.
- Collect packing supplies such as newspapers in need of recycling and left over boxes from grocery and wholesale stores. These packing materials might have just simply been thrown out, but instead, you can reuse them when it comes to moving day -- and they won't cost you a thing.
- Use a smartphone or tablet to save on paper. Download apps specifically for moving, or use your device's calendar, checklist or note app for budgets, contact information and to-do lists.
- Stick with emails and phone calls when communicating with moving services, realtors, utility companies and all others involved in your move. Request that any information or correspondence be sent via email to reduce the use of paper. You can also request electronic estimates from moving companies.
TIP: Ask your moving company how they stay green in their spare time. Some companies will plant a tree for every move they complete.
How to stay eco-friendly during your move
You may have already got rid of a lot of your items and packed them away in 100 percent recycled packing materials, but your trip to your new place is just as important as what happens before and after your arrival.
- Rent moving boxes, such as environmentally friendly plastic containers that can be reused and are delivered to you via biodiesel trucks. The boxes are easily stackable and sealed without using any tape.
- Use bio-degradable packing materials. Foam packing peanuts and plastic bubble wrap are unhealthy for our environment. Eco-friendly alternatives include starch-based packing peanuts, water-soluble bubble wrap and quilted, cotton-filled pads.
- Request biodiesel trucks when asking for an estimate, regardless of whether you are moving yourself or hiring a moving service. Not all moving services have this, but it is worth doing your research. By using bio-diesel fuel, moving companies contribute to a healthier environment, causing less hydrocarbon emissions with every mile they drive!
How to be green after your move
Being environmentally conscious shouldn't stop once you're all unpacked! Here are a few ways you can think of the environment while settling into your new place:
- Cut down on junk mail by filing for a temporary change of address, which will reduce the amount of circulars and other junk mail at your new residence, as the postal service sells permanent address changes to marketers.
- Reuse and recycle packing materials. That may mean more than simply driving all of your unwanted material to a recycle container or recycling plant. There are many things you can do with all of your empty cardboard boxes, such as for kindling or compost.
- Organic cleaning products can be found in local health food stores or designated aisles at the grocery store. Also, don't forget about natural alternatives such as plain cider vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. If you want someone else to take care of the cleaning, there are many green cleaning services that offer professional cleaning with nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners.