Moving is no doubt an exciting time, but its impact on the environment can be surprisingly high. Fortunately, whether you move on your own or hire a mover, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint during the process.
1. Donate Items Instead of Throwing Them Away
Moving is the perfect time to go through your belongings and determine what you want to keep and what you don’t want to bring along to another home. From clothes and books to furniture and electronics, there are likely many items you’ll want to throw away, particularly if you’re downsizing. Heading to the waste station is the path of least resistance—one large load and this part of the move will be over.
Instead of throwing away these unwanted items in the garbage, however, consider donating them. Functioning electronics such as printers or computers can be donated to schools or non-profit organizations. Books can be donated to your local library. And everything else can be placed in a donation bin. You may even want to consider having a yard sale or giving away possessions to friends or family. This will reduce the number of items that end up in the landfill.
2. Recycle What You Can
There are many items, such as broken electronics or used batteries, that you won’t be able to donate. When possible, bring these items to specialized recycling centres instead of throwing them in the trash, where they may end up harming the environment and our health.
3. Choose Eco-Friendly Packing Materials
The corrugated cardboard boxes many people use to move can be recycled, but many of the other common items used aren’t so easily disposed of, such as bubble wrap and tape. Instead of using these packing materials, consider purchasing reusable plastic bins instead. They’ll cut down on the tape you’ll need to use, and you’ll be able to store your belongings in them later on. You can also rent these types of bins at moving and storage centres. And, instead of bubble wrap or styrofoam, opt for moving paper to keep your fragile belongings safe. You could also use blankets or old t-shirts as an alternative.
4. Hire Movers
Of course, you’re going to need to transport your possessions from one home to the other during a move. This is unavoidable. However, you can cut down on unnecessary transportation in a few ways. First, try to avoid rush hour to reduce the amount of time spent idling. And instead of moving your possessions by car, which will require several trips, hire a moving service instead. This will enable you to move all your belongings in one trip.
5. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Once you’ve packed and the movers have moved, you’ll need to clean out your old home. You’ll likely also want to clean your new home before you move in. During this cleaning process, consider using green cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. There are many green products on the market to choose from, or alternatively, you can clean with baking soda and vinegar instead.
With these tips, you’ll be able to reduce your environmental impact when moving houses.