Moving is a costly and resource intensive undertaking. Mounds of cardboard boxes, miles of packing tape, and piles of peanuts and bubble wrap. Then, you pile it into a big truck and haul it across the city, state, or country. It’s difficult to make a very eco-friendly move when there are so many things you need to make the process go smoothly. However, there are green alternatives to many of the supplies you need if you put the effort into securing them beforehand.
The biggest part of packing is obviously the boxes. Most people use dozens and dozens of cardboard boxes that they purchase from an office store, use once, break down, and throw in the trash. There are definitely alternatives to many aspects of the need for cardboard box:
- Reuse. Ask around among your friends and family to see if anyone has any old cardboard boxes they’ve been holding on to. Standard cardboard boxes can be used up to 10 times if taken care of and stored in a dry place. Another good place to find cardboard boxes is the grocery store. If you can manage to go late at night when they are stocking the shelves, you might be able to nab some of their large cardboard boxes that they empty the inventory out of. When you’re finished using the boxes, recycle the ones that are too beat up to be used again and store the reusable ones to lend out to other friends or family members.
- Plastic. Consider using plastic bins. Start by asking your movers if they offer reusable plastic bins. These can be used hundreds and hundreds of times. They are typically perfectly stackable, and they don’t need to be broken down after you’ve unpacked. If your mover doesn’t offer these, consider getting them from RentAGreenBox.com or EZBins (there are many other sites that rent plastic boxes, too. Take a look around!).
- Creative Cushioning. Another thing to consider is using packing peanuts. Instead of using styrofoam peanuts (which are not biodegradable), consider using what you already have. Scarves, old clothing, and towels can all make great protective coverings and cushioning for your fragile items. Alternatively, there are biodegradable peanuts (they’re usually green in color) available to purchase.
On the day of the move, consider your options for fuel and shipping. Some moving companies have options for using biodiesel fuel in their trucks. This is especially important if you are travelling a great distance. If you are shipping your car across the country, consider shipping it by rail, since trains are much more fuel efficient than trucks.
And once everything is out of the house, remember to use eco-friendly cleaning supplies to scrub it down!
We hope this gives you some ideas about making your move just a little more eco-friendly. Stay conscious about your impact, and remember that you can take your Protect America security system with you when you move.