Environmentally Friendly Moving Practices
Environmentally Friendly Moving Practices
Moving can require a lot of time, energy, and resources. Boxes, tape, plastic wrap, trash, old electronics and more can pile up before you know it. Not only is it annoying to have all of these leftover supplies in your new home, but the trash also has to be disposed of. With the following tips, you can make your move more environmentally friendly by reducing clutter, trash, and being efficient with your time and resources. Being environmentally friendly can also lower your overall moving cost.
Plan Ahead to Accumulate Supplies
As with any other moving tip, planning ahead is of the utmost importance. If you know that you are not moving for several months, or longer, you can be to slowly accumulate and reuse supplies that will be helpful for the move.
Did you order something online that came in a large, sturdy box? Break that box down and store it under your bed to be used later. Perhaps you have leftover tissue paper from wrapping Christmas presents – set that aside to use for your move.
Also, ask around to your family, friends, and neighbors. See what supplies they may have laying around that you can tentatively reserve. When you plan ahead in the right mindset, you’ll be amazed at how many items you naturally find that will prove to be useful later on.
Seek Out Free Supplies, Especially Boxes
Grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants, and big box chains are constantly receiving new inventory. Their shipments arrive in boxes of all shapes, sizes, and quality. Don’t be afraid to ask a store employee for any boxes they may have leftover. Often, they are relieved to be rid of them because it’s one less thing they have to worry about, and you get barely used boxes for free! Liquor stores use particularly strong boxes to handle the weight of multiple bottles.
Get Creative When Wrapping Items
If you have leftover tissue paper from the holidays, go ahead and use it! But if you don’t have any, consider some alternative options to wrap your dishes and other fragile valuables. Newspaper is the next best alternative to tissue paper and works well to prevent scratches. It is readily available, and you can read the comic section on your breaks from packing!
In addition to that option, using your own clothes, dishrags, or towels is an excellent option! This will provide even more padding than paper will, and you are moving those items anyway. Why pack all your towels in one box and dishes in another when you can combine the two categories, all while providing protection for your items and lowering your waste.
Properly Dispose of Old Electronics
You probably have several pieces of electronic equipment that you are not bringing with you. Be sure to properly dispose of these items, rather than throw them out in a traditional dumpster. In some cities, you can actually incur a fine for doing this! First, evaluate if these items are in working order – if so, considering donating them to a local school, library, charity, or church. That old speaker or TV may not serve you anymore, but someone else might be happy to have it!
If you determine that the items are broken or not available for donation, seek out your local waste management organization. The company will have protocols for disposing of electronic items in an environmentally friendly manner. Each city and county has different requirements and regulations, but will provide detailed information on their website.
Sell and Donate First
As with old electronics, consider donating or selling any items that you do not want to bring with you, rather than defaulting to throwing them away. Local charitable organizations are always on the lookout for clothing and furniture to provide to those in need. Your items will be far more useful in the hands of another family than in the landfill! Ask your Personal Relocation Manager to assist you with identifying these resources.
Use Plastic Bins, Rather than Cardboard Boxes
While it may be unrealistic and unreasonable to use exclusively plastic bins in lieu of cardboard boxes, consider using as many sturdy plastic bins as you can. Not only do you reduce the use of disposable cardboard, but you can use these plastic bins for storage in your new home. They are easier to move and longer lasting than cardboard and can provide a compact and sturdy solution for future storage needs.
Supply Rental Companies
Many movers and independent companies offer moving supply rental services, allowing you to rent out boxes and wrapping supplies, rather than purchasing your own single-use supplies. Typically, they will drop off sturdy plastic bins at your current home and pick them up once you move into your new home. This may be a more expensive options than others on this list, but it is a convenient and eco-friendly option.
Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
Packing peanuts can be an extremely useful supply when moving, especially large fragile items that must be packed independently of your other things. However, traditional packing peanuts end up in landfills and can take decades to fully degrade.
Fortunately, there is a relatively new alternative to traditional packing peanuts. Biodegradable peanuts are made from wheat or corn starch and dissolve in water, without leaving any toxic waste behind.