You probably have heard this one before, but “moving out is not an easy task”. Unfortunately, this as true as it can get. When moving to a new home, business property, office, and etc. you’ll most likely have to pack and travel in a economical and efficient way. However, most of the time organising everything turns out to be a hard and stressful task.
What Is a Sustainable Move?
Moving out in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner means finding ways to use green, biodegradable materials as much as possible in order to complete your relocation process.
Moving in or out may not be an enjoyable endeavour. However, that does not mean that you should avoid being environmentally-conscious when you are wrapping and packing up your belongings or moving them to your new destination. Sometimes, even smart relocation practices can have a negative environmental impact.
A few tips from the specialists
Lots of stuff gets dumped into the landfill, because the move was not planned ahead and there was no time to sort through your stuff,” – says Kate Hart (Office & Home relocation manager at Fantastic Removals London) -There are always raw materials that can be recycled, reused or rebuilt or things that can save energy and a lot of landfill space.
One way to save money and to move sustainably is to get free moving boxes from online resources like Craigslist, NextDoor or your neighborhood Facebook group. When you’re done with your moving boxes, repost on the same site and keep the kindness going.” – Ali Wenzke from The Art of Happy Moving says: – There is so much waste when it comes to moving, especially when it comes to food that is left behind. Consider finding a mover through Move For Hunger.
This non-profit organization works with movers throughout the U.S. and Canada. They will pick up your unopened, non-perishable goods and take them to the local food pantry. Almost 8 million pounds of food has been collected through Move for Hunger since 2009. Every little bit helps, so donate a few cans and help others during your move.
How to Make Your Move More Sustainable?
Plan Ahead of Time
The first and most important advice is to plan your move ahead of time. This will not only save you time and money, but it will also give you the opportunity to have a look at your move from a different angle. Better knowledge of what will and will not fit into your new rooms in advance will allow you to plan your sustainable move even further.t
Use the 3 R’s
Check with the local grocery store if they can spare any empty cardboard boxes instead of buying new ones. This way, you will not only reduce waste, but will also save money on moving materials. Your new neighbours might have just moved in and they could be open to selling or borrowing some of their relocation materials in order to help you facilitate your move.
Buying second hand is also an option if you need to add any furnishings to your belongings. Second hand shops reduce the waste in local landfills. If you need to repaint before decorating, choose eco-friendly paint. Once you are done with the walls, return the cans to your home renovation store. The store will use any leftover paint and recycle the empty cans.
Buy Energy-Efficient Products
If you have decided to combine your move with the replacement of your old appliances, buy only new generation, energy-saving products. Buy power strips to help you manage power to your appliances. Think about buying compact fluorescent light bulbs which require 70% less energy and try to implement other similar tricks in order to create a sustainable, energy-efficient environment at your new home.
Clean with Natural Solvents When Moving Out and Before Moving In
When you move out, you have to leave your old home clean for your landlord or the next owners. Cleaning products emit toxic chemicals, including phosphorous, nitrogen, and ammonia. Green cleaning solutions reduce the pollution your move out cleaning causes.
Eco-friendly Route and Transportation
Plan your driving route and follow your plan. Drivers who follow a set route save money on gas and rental truck time. Additionally, these movers produce less carbon monoxide while they are on the road.
If you plan to drive a moving truck or van, transport your everyday car via rail. On average, a train is four times more efficient than a truck. Combine a planned route and a railway car shipment to produce as few greenhouse gases as possible.
Pack and Reduce Your Load
Use sustainable containers as you pack to reduce the waste during your trip. Either use recyclable cardboard boxes or reusable plastic crates.
As you organise and pack your belongings, separate items that you can sell or donate. The weightier your items are, the more effort and fuel the moving truck will expend.
Whether you use crumpled newspaper or biodegradable packing peanuts, recycle your packing materials. If you purchased foam, bubble wrap, or cardboard boxes, list them online for other moving families to use.
As you bring in your belongings, close the door between each person. If the weather allows it, avoid turning on the heater or air conditioner until after you bring everything inside. This reduces the amount of energy you use on your first day in your new home.
During the moving process, consult with your transport company. The staff members can identify other ways to reduce your move’s negative environmental impact. Address your concerns about sustainability with the crew that helps you. When the movers know your priorities, they will be able to perform their job better.
Moving requires plenty of time and energy. If you plan ahead of time, you may be able to conserve energy and do less harm to the environment while relocating.
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.