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Hiring a Green Moving Company

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If you want to go green during your move, find a moving company that shares your love of the environment. Ask any potential mover if their trucks use biodiesel, and find out what other green methods they implement.
If you're looking to reduce the carbon footprint left by your move, you've picked a commendable pursuit. There are certainly many things that you can do yourself to cut down on waste and make the process more eco-friendly, but the biggest responsibility probably rests on the moving company's shoulders. They are the ones using the gas and providing the packing materials. With that in mind, there is some legwork you can do to find a company that will make your move greener. Basically, you should ask lots of questions.

TIP: You should compare prices between a few movers anyway. Ask some of these questions when you're on the phone with them.

Packing materials

Packing materials can create a lot of waste, which takes energy to dispose of, not to mention the cutting down of trees or use of petroleum to make the materials in the first place. If you are going to be using packing materials provided by your mover, ask about their makeup: are they made from recycled or biodegradable material? Find out if the material is compostable. Maybe they reuse packing peanuts. There are also companies that allow you to rent boxes with the intention of using them again.

The truck

The moving truck is obviously a pretty large concern as well. The CO2 emissions a moving truck can create are pretty hefty. One way to work around this is to find out if any companies in your area have trucks that run on biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel fuel is made from different oils, some of which lived a previous life as cooking oil in restaurants. Individuals or companies with biodiesel-ready vehicles can actually take this used oil (which would only be thrown out anyway) off the restaurants' hands and convert it into fuel. When it burns, it gives off fewer harmful emissions than fossil fuel.

If you cannot find a company that has a biodiesel truck (and you might not), make sure you include a pretty detailed description of what you are going to be moving when you talk to the companies. Ask them if they plan on using one or two trucks to transport your things. One larger truck is going to be easier on the environment than two slightly smaller ones.

Of course, there may be other steps certain movers have taken to go a little greener in their business. If you just lead in with something like, "I'm looking to work with an eco-friendly company," you might not have to ask many questions at all.

  Posted by Patrick Hanan on January 11, 2010

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