If you are planning a move and would like to reduce your environmental footprint, there are few changes you can make to have an eco-friendly move.
All you need to do is make small changes to what you pack, how you pack, and how you transport your stuff.
1. Sell or donate what you don't need or use
Before moving is a great time to "spring clean" your life.
By reducing the amount of things you'll be taking with you, you'll reduce truck gas mileage and use fewer packing materials. You'll also save some money on your move and potentially earn some cash (or a tax deduction) in the process.
If you're looking to donate, you can take your belongings to the Salvation Army or put them up on Craigslist's "Free" section. If you're looking to sell, consider organizing a yard sale or place your old furniture, clothes, toys and decorations on e-Bay or Craigslist.
Check out this great guide The Complete Guide to Selling Your Unwanted Crap for Money covers how to price and where to sell everything you might want to get rid of.
2. Get Used Boxes or Eco-friendly Bins
Make it an eco-friendly move by applyng the principals of Reuse, Reduce and Recycle apply to how you source boxes and bins.
Reusing old boxes or purchasing environmentally-friendly bins made out of recycled plastic is a great way to make sure your next move is eco-friendly.
If you're going for cardboard, source some used boxes at your local grocery store. And if you're going for bins, ask your local moving company if they have reusable bins you can rent.
3. Choose Environmentally Friendly Packing Materials
Did you know that bubble wrap and Styrofoam packing peanuts are both made out of oil and can take up to one million years to decompose? And did you know that they aren't even necessary for moving?
Household items like newspaper, egg cartons, blankets, and towels can easily replace bubble wrap and packing peanuts to pad fragile belongings during your move.
Newspaper, for example, is a great material for protecting glassware, plates, and other fragile items. Similarly, eggs cartons, blankets and towels can be placed on the edges of boxes and bins to prevent bangs during your move.
If you feel like you absolutely must purchase padding, choose recyclable packing paper or specially marked biodegradable bubble wrap and peanuts.
4. Be Mindful Of The Truck's Carbon Footprint
Being conscientious about transportation is imperative to an eco-friendly move.
While not all rental trucks are equipped to use clean fuel, there are several ways to reduce the impact that your move has on the environment by being mindful about transportation.
For instance, if you have a long-distance move, consolidated shipping is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Similarly, shipping your belongings by train also makes for a more eco-friendly move.
If you are moving locally, you can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the number of runs you make between the new and old house. Get a moving company that can move all your things in one go rather than having to do multiple trips.
5. Recycle Your Packing Materials When You're Done!
Once you're done with your move, make sure you reuse or recycle as many of the things you used as humanly possible.
Take cardboard boxes and packing materials to a recycling centre, or better yet try to find a friend (or someone on Craigslist) who may be moving soon and hand them off to them.
If you got plastic bins, use them for storage at your new home, or sell them online so someone else can use them. Reducing the amount of trash you drop off at a landfill will significantly reduce your impact on the environment, and will help ensure that your next move is as eco-friendly as possible!