Tips for a Green Move

There are many of moments in life where we need to be conscious of our impact on the environment. As we all do our best to reduce our carbon footprint, and encourage corporations to do the same, we need to search for new ways of doing everyday things. It's important that whenever we do anything, whether it's going out for a meal or buying a book, we consider more eco-friendly alternatives. Even significant life events that only take place every few years, at the most, need to be carefully planned so that we can be sure to care for our environment. One of the biggest moments in life that are often unavoidable, but can have a significant impact on our carbon footprint, is moving our home. Sometimes we need to move our family and possessions across the country or even to the other side of the world. But how can we do this without leaving a huge trail of carbon emissions behind us? Luckily there are lots of ways we can change the way that we approach moving to make sure we don't do more damage than absolutely necessary.

Photo: CJ Sorg

Packaging

Moving home requires boxing up all your things, so they survive the journey. Whether you're going just down the street or halfway around the world, you want your possessions to be safe. But protecting everything requires mountains of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and various other materials. How can we reduce waste when we need to move everything and avoid damage? One thing you can choose to do is use reusable boxes. Instead of buying cardboard, use plastic or wooden boxes to pack everything up. Of course, doing this will add weight to your stuff, which means that transporting it could be less efficient.

Some moving companies will provide you with crates or other packing materials that they use again and again. For example, with The Professional Movers from Chicago, you can rent boxes instead of buying new ones. You can also look for recycled cardboard and pre-owned boxes. And, of course, you can keep any boxes from your last move, providing that they're still suitable for use. Try to avoid using anything that can't be recycled to fill in your boxes, but if you do, make sure you can reuse it.

 

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Photo Credit: Takashi Horoshima

Organizing Your Stuff

Any organized mover will go through their things before moving and decide what's going and what's coming. Your move is going to be more eco-friendly if you reduce the amount that you take with you, especially if you're traveling long distances. However, remember that if you're going to get rid of something and replace it at the other end, you'll need to weigh up the impact of moving the original versus buying another. If you do want to replace things – if you're moving to another country and don't want to take all your furniture, for example – try to buy used items.

You don't want to throw away everything that you don't take with you, so make lists or piles of things that you can sell or recycle, and things that you will have to throw away. Try to reduce your waste as much as possible. Remember that if you can't sell something, you still may be able to recycle it or give it away to a charity. You can have a garage or yard sale if you have a lot to sell or use the internet to get rid of a few items. Look for local recycling centers for different materials, from plastics to fabrics. And don't forget to find thrift stores and charities who will be grateful for donations.

Choosing a Moving Company

The moving company you choose is vital to a greener process because you want them to care as much about the environment as you do. As previously mentioned, many moving companies are thoughtful enough to provide reusable crates and boxes. But there are other things that movers are doing to reduce their carbon footprints. Many firms will let you know about their trucks, but you can ask if they don't make the specifics clear. Look for moving vehicles that use a more environmentally-friendly fuel. Make sure you find one that's large enough to hold all your things too. The fewer trips you make, the more you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Don't forget to consider everyone and everything you need to move. Do you need to ship your car or even your pets? And what about you and your family – will you be driving together or taking a plane? It's important to consider lots of different factors for a more eco-friendly move. For example, shipping your car by rail could be greener than using a truck.

Cleaning Old and New Homes

You need to give everything a good scrub in both your old and new homes. But you shouldn't forget about using green cleaning products when you need to do so much. One way to stay green when you're cleaning is to make your own products. There are lots of homemade remedies that people have been using for a long time and which can be very effective. Many of them use substances as simple as vinegar and lemon juice, so they're inexpensive as well as non-toxic. If you don't want to make your own, you can quickly pop into a health food store or similar to pick up a few things.

But moving can be time consuming enough without having to clean two homes from top to bottom. So if you don't have the time to clean your space, look for a cleaning company who will do the job for you. Many businesses use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners, so you don't have to worry about the impact they have on the environment.

It's easy to take control of your move and turn it into what you want it to be. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint when you move, just be willing to explore different solutions and you’re sure to hit the green mark.

 

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