No one likes to move but environmentally conscious families dislike it for another reason. One unavoidable consequence of moving is how much waste is created and how environmentally unfriendly the process can be. So how can you go green with your next house move, let’s take a look….
Boxes, paper, tape and foam padding are all essential moving supplies.
Even those with the best intentions can find themselves buried in Styrofoam as a giant truck idles and emits black smoke outside the house.
Luckily, a quality moving company and several small precautions can help minimize the carbon footprint of your move.
Do what you can and try to put the tenets of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle to use when you get to your new home to ensure you are living a sustainable lifestyle.
So how do you go green with your house move? Here’s 12 simple ideas to help….
1. The first step is to decide what can stay with the house, what you can sell, and what you can donate. Remember, a lighter truck emits far less pollution than a heavier one, so take inventory and determine what you will bring with you when you move.
If your family is like mine, you may have put in solar daylighting tubes, an eco-friendly water heater, chosen an efficient water pump and even planted fruit trees in the yard.
Consider the possibility of leaving these things to the home’s new owner. Imagine, the new family comes in and sees that someone has taken the time to make the home as efficient and earth-friendly as possible—what better inspiration is there to continue to be kind to the Earth?
The lack of emissions will continue long after you’re gone and you can always make the same improvements to your new place.
2. Next, decide what you can sell. This helps take a dent out of the costs of moving and can generate some cash to upgrade your new place with environmentally friendly functions.
Plan and advertise a garage sale at least two weeks in advance. That way any garage sale fans will have plenty of time to find you.
3. Anything left over can be donated to a charity shop. Be sure to do your homework about your charity shop of choice to ensure your donations are going to actual good causes and that your donation is being used properly.
There is no easier way to go green with your move than reusing!
4. Post an advertisement on Craigslist or ask around on Facebook for boxes and other moving supplies. Many people in your town will be happy to give boxes away for free or for a low price.
5. Contact neighbours who have moved in recently and offer to take their leftover supplies. Cardboard boxes are extremely durable, reusable, and recyclable.
Paper can be repurposed too, especially as it will be used to cushion items in the boxes.
6. Another great option is to rent recycled-plastic bins for packing, as opposed to packing in paper products.
Ask your moving company if they offer bins for rent and see if they have the means to help you out.
7. Wooden crates can be expensive to buy but if you have access to second-hand crates, they’re a great choice.
They can be broken down and used for future do-it-yourself projects at the new house.
8. Have you already invested in eco-friendly natural cleaners? Use these for wiping down the house once you have it all cleaned out.
Put vinegar and baking soda to work as disinfectants, polishing agents and dish soap.
This is also a chance to use up open bottles and containers of kitchen ingredients, less to have to pack!
Not only is this a great way to reduce the amount of chemicals in your day to day life, it can also help save you some money.
If you are interested in this, don’t miss our fantastic article on 93 homemade natural cleaning products, for the whole house….
9. As you get the word out that you plan to move, you may also get offers of bubble wrap that has some left on the roll, popcorn for protecting your valuables, or old, soft clothing to wrap around delicate vases or keepsakes.
Grab anything you can to save money and to promote the idea of reuse.
10. It’s common knowledge that packing peanuts, made from polystyrene are not biodegradable and are something to avoid.
However, they do a great job protecting our valuables as they ship.
A great alternative is using the green-tinted peanuts that let you know they come from bioplastics.
Bioplastics are derivatives of cornstarch or vegetable oil and are, therefore much more sustainable.
After your garage sale, you’ll know for sure what you want in the moving truck, so it’s time to look at what can’t be used anymore.
11. Do you have some old, broken electronics? Old phones, toys, or even laptops have several new non-profits they can go to that will reuse their parts or repair them to be donated to organizations, schools, or families.
Wine corks, old CDs, and old stockings are only a few of the items that have found a second life with the help of devoted organizations.
One group even crushes up old toilets, sinks and other porcelain fixtures to make sidewalks.
12. You can also put it all together and make a trip to the local recycling center.
Sort out all of your old packages and garbage by material, and then take them to be recycled or to a recycling station near your home.
Remember, if you sort it, you make everyone’s job at the center go a lot smoother, so don’t skip this part.
You might not be able to put all these ideas to use, so don’t stress.
Remember, being green is all about taking advantage of the ecological technologies or practices available to us whenever possible, but it’s rare we can be perfectly green.
Put safety first and keep yourself sane as you experience this major transition in your life.
Have you moved house recently and managed to go green?
We’d love to hear more hints and tips, so please let us know in the comments below….
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