How to Make Your Next Move Greener
by Samantha Greenbaum
Studies show that 24 percent of Americans have moved to a new city in the last five years. These numbers do not reflect the percentage of local moves from one residence in a city to another in the same city, so we can assume that Americans move a lot in general. Most people move for school, work, or to downsize or upgrade their home. With so many people moving each year, the amount of cardboard, plastic, and paper produced during a move quickly adds up. If you will be moving in the near future and are looking for some ways to green your move, consider some of these ideas:
Skip Buying Cardboard
Purchasing cardboard boxes for your move is not only expensive, it can easily be avoided. Instead of buying cardboard, plan ahead and begin saving and collecting boxes several months prior to your move. Boxes can be found at department stores, retailers, and grocery stores. You may even find suitable boxes used for items that are shipped to you. If you have room in your garage, in a closet, or even under your bed you can store your cardboard boxes until you are ready to begin packing. Even if all of your boxes are in one piece, invest in packing tape just in case there is a mishap. Once you have moved you can advertise your boxes for free to other movers in need of boxes on sites like Craigslist, or you can take them to your local cardboard recycling center. If you are looking for a way to eliminate cardboard altogether, you can rent eco-friendly recycled plastic crates from a green moving company.
Use Green Packing Supplies
It is inevitable that you will have some fragile home decorations and electronics that will need additional padding and cushioning when packing and moving. Instead of investing in bubble wrap or paper, get creative and use green packing supplies. Instead of buying packing paper, use old newspapers and magazines to wrap fragile items, and recycle them once you unpack. For large items that need padding, use sheets, blankets, towels, and clothing as a protective barrier. You can even go to a thrift store or a garage sale and purchase additional cloth wrapping supplies much cheaper than plastic bubble wrap. If you have no further use for them you can return them to a thrift store once you move. You can also save and reuse bubble wrap that comes with deliveries, and save it again for future use after your move. You can also use eco-friendly, biodegradable packing peanuts for art and other fragile items.
Pre-pack a Small Cooler
On moving day even the most environmentally conscious individuals may turn to grab-and-go convenience-store food and drinks. To eliminate plastic and paper waste from fast food or grab-and-go food on moving day pre-pack a small (or large if you have multiple helpers) cooler with food and drinks. Make sure that you have plenty of hydrating beverages in reusable bottles, fruits, vegetables, and something filling, such as sandwiches.
All of the green moving ideas above are simple and easy to accomplish. They allow you to move your belongings in a secure and organized manner, while significantly reducing traditional moving waste.
About the Author
This article was provided by Samantha Greenbaum, thrifty, earth-conscious mother of two. If you’re looking for other ways to be thrifty and earth-conscious, too, Samantha recommends Tara Energy, a leading Houston electric company.