I don’t know about you, but for me, moving is one of the most frustrating and stressful things on my list. Maybe it is because I’ve been moving a lot during my lifetime. You will think that the more you move the easier it gets as you get used to it but every time I have to move, I get stressed out even weeks before moving and I personally will never get used to that kind of stress.
Moving is something you will have to deal with at least once in your lifetime and it is always good to be prepared as moving is not only frustrating, but it usually comes with huge environmental costs. Have you heard about green moving yet? Green moving is a growing trend in the moving industry nowadays and it means moving with a conscious effort while choosing eco-friendly packing materials, reusing and sharing supplies and reducing carbon emissions during transport.
If you are about to move soon and your new year’s resolution for 2015 is to make your move eco-friendly, follow these tips in order to fulfill your resolution and save the environment.
- Try not to accumulate a lot of stuff
If you know that you are going to move in three months for example, try not to accumulate too much stuff during those months. The less you have to transport the better for the planet. The less stuff you have, the less gas you will burn and the les packing materials you will use.
- Do not move everything you own
Before you move, plan accordingly and pack only the things you really need and use. Do not pack every single thing in your house. Try to donate, recycle or sell some of the stuff you own. Consider holding a garage sale for example or sell any unnecessary items on websites like eBay, Craigslist.org or The Freecycle Network. You will save the environment and earn some extra money too.
If you have to move on a short notice, donate the things you don’t use. I have thought about donating before moving, but I always managed to convince myself that I needed everything I owned. I don’t know why this always happens to me. I still own some t-shirts that I haven’t been using in years and I know very well that I will never ever wear them again, but somehow when it is time to move, I always pack them thinking that maybe I will need them. But I never do and I always end up regretting the fact that I didn’t donate them. I did donate some stuff right after I moved, but I know I still have a lot of unnecessary items that I have to get rid of no matter what.
- Reuse packing materials and avoid buying new cardboard boxes
Do you still own some cardboard boxes? Use them first on your next move before looking for new ones. You can also ask local businesses to give you packing boxes they don’t use or get them free from your neighbors, you just need to ask. And if you still need to buy some more, buy used cardboard boxes instead of new ones or rent moving boxes from companies that offer reusable packing crates which are made of recycled plastic bottles. If you only find new ones, consider recycling, posting them on Craigslist for someone else to use or giving them to friends or neighbors who are about to move.
- Try to use less bubble wrap
Use pillows, blankets or scarves to pack your fragile items. You can also use old newspapers, old clothes or towels instead of bubble wraps for your non-fragile items.
- Hire an eco-friendly moving company
A lot of companies are adopting green moving methods recently so it won’t be hard for you to find the one you are looking for. On your moving day you will have a lot of things to worry about, so hiring an eco-friendly moving company will make your green move way easier.
- Recycle whatever you can!
If you live in the US or Canada you can log in here http://www.earth911.com/ and find out how and what your specific city or town recycles. I am sure you will have a lot of unwanted products and devices you need to recycle, so don’t wait any longer and find out what you can do.
- Plan your moving ahead of time
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack everything. You will need time to select what you need and what you don’t need to pack. If you know you aren’t going to use summer clothes or winter clothes for example until you move, start packing those and save yourself some time. If it is possible, start packing months ahead in order to get rid of all the things you don’t need. This way you will have time to recycle, donate or have a yard/ garage sale.
- Use green cleaning products
Try to create a green cleaning kit for cleaning up your former place and your new home. You can find plenty of green cleaning products that help the environment and protect your health. Moreover, you can hire a green cleaning company like http://minneapolis.ecomaids.com/ for example and they will take care of the rest.
- Call 1-800-GOT-JUNK
Too late to sell, donate or recycle any of your useless stuff! Don’t stress out! Just call 1-800-GOT-JUNK and they will help you get rid of large amounts of junk pretty fast by recycling and donating your stuff.
- Take as fewer trips as possible to relocate your stuff
Driving several times to your new place in order to move all your belongings isn’t the best idea. You will spend a lot of money, time and all your green moving efforts will be useless. Instead, try hiring a moving company that will move all your things in one trip. Also, if you are moving across the country, and you have a vehicle, think about shipping it instead of driving the car. When the trip is more than 300 miles it is well worth it to transport the car instead of drive across the country.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, around 40 million people move every year within the United States. Can you imagine how many resources are required and how much air pollution is caused by all those moves? By making your move eco-friendly you will help the environment more than you think. Furthermore, don’t stop your green move when you finish unpacking. Start new habits when you move in your new home by living green and eating green. Any and all green choices you make are good for your health, the environment and the future of your children!