Unfortunately, moving can be pretty bad for the environment. Between the fuel, boxes, and materials used, moving day can take a toll on your carbon footprint. According to this cool infographic, the average move uses 60 boxes, the equivalent of more than half a one-ton pine tree!
However, there are are few steps you can take to make your move a little greener.
Less is More
Moving is the perfect time to re-evaluate your possessions. Not only will you have less items to move, but owning less allows you to buy and maintain a smaller home. Getting into the “less is more” mindset also helps curb wasteful consumerism.
Before you start packing, identify which belongings aren’t going to make it onto the truck. Challenge yourself to let go. If you haven’t used that item in the past year, then it might not be worth keeping.
Don’t Toss, Donate
Instead of sending unwanted items to the landfill, give it a second life and donate or sell these things instead. Check out our articles on cleaning out belongings before a move and selling unwanted items. For the items that can’t be re-used, be sure you’re recycling everything you can. Even electronics can be recycled.
Packing materials are the biggest reason moving can be so Earth-unfriendly. Avoid any non-biodegradable packing materials such as styrofoam and plastic. Use paper, packing peanuts made from cornstarch, or other possessions like blankets to protect your move instead.
Instead of buying boxes new, pack as much as you can in used boxes. If you foresee a move in the near future, start saving boxes from deliveries. Ask friends who have recently moved if their boxes are still around, they’ll be grateful to get rid of them! You can also sometimes get free used boxes from grocery stores and other retailers. Don’t forget to ask your moving company if they sell used boxes as well.
There are also services that allow you to rent plastic crates for moving. This is probably the most eco-friendly packing option. Many businesses offer these crates, including Rent a Green Box, WeGoBox, ZippGo, and Better Than Boxes.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
When you’re finished unpacking, be sure to recycle all your boxes and packing materials. You can find the recycling center in your new neighborhood by visiting earth911.com
New House, New Lifestyle
A new house is the perfect opportunity to jump start a greener home. Maybe your new yard is perfect for a compost bin, or the abundance of sun on the rooftop can be utilized with solar panels. Inside, install energy saving light bulbs. Even small changes, like switching to eco-safe cleaning products, can make a big difference.
Olympia’s Eco-Responsible Initiatives
Here at Olympia, we do our part to make your move a little greener:
- Instead of wasting paper, we are ready to provide electronic estimates, invoices, and moving resources
- Use Olympia’s debris removal service to pick up your empty boxes for recycling
- We recycle all our used cardboard and materials
- All our moving cartons and packing materials are made from recycled product
- Olympia’s trucks meet the latest Federal Emission Standards
- We save fuel on interstate moves by carrying multiple households on each truck
The great news is that an eco-friendly move is also a cost-efficient move!