If you pride yourself on being as environmentally conscious as possible to help keep the Earth in great shape for future generations, then you may have found many ways to lead an eco-friendly daily life. However, if you are like many people who don't relocate often, you may wonder how you can make your upcoming move as eco-friendly as possible. If you do move often, then it is even more important to learn how to move without creating too much waste. Here are three easy steps to help you tackle your move virtually waste-free without adding more stress to an already stressful task.
1. Consider Moving Box Alternatives
Placing personal items in cardboard moving boxes has been the standard back-bone of moving for decades. While you can recycle your boxes after you move, even the recycling process is not as green as many people believe. You have likely heard the motto: "Reduce, re-use, recycle," and recycle is the last word in the motto, because it is better for the environment to reduce your consumption of natural resources and reuse the items you have than to purchase new items and recycle them.
For this reason, think literally out-of-the-box and look into moving box alternatives that you can obtain on your own or you can request from the moving company you are using. One cardboard box alternative that is becoming popular is recycled plastic containers that you can rent to use during your move and then return after. The containers are then cleaned and used by the next person who rents them out. They are typically re-used about 400 times before they see the end of their lives and are recycled again.
2. Find Creative Ways to Pad Items in Moving Containers
Before you even look into the most environmentally friendly packing materials you can buy, first consider how you can use items you already own as packing materials. Easy go-to, reusable items to add into your shipping containers to protect delicate items are your household towels, washcloths, sheets, and blankets. They will need to come with you when moving anyway, so instead of placing them all in their own containers, use them more wisely to protect fragile items in your containers.
Also, if you have several weeks or months to prepare for your move, begin saving all of your newspapers and other papers you typically toss in the recycling bin, shred them, and you then have additional low carbon-footprint packing materials. If you don't have enough papers of your own, ask friends, family, and even local businesses for any papers they are about to toss out or recycle and use them too. Your moving company will be happy to use them when packing up your items, because they can then save their packing materials for another client.
3. Reduce the Gasoline Used by Your Moving Truck with These Tips
Whether you are renting a moving truck and driving it to your new location yourself or having your movers drive their truck to your new home, you can takes steps to minimize the gasoline used to move your items. The most important way to do this is by using the smallest truck possible. Larger trucks simply use more gasoline, and while a 10-14 foot moving truck can drive 8 to 10 miles per gallon, a larger truck over 20-feet long can only travel about 4 to 6 miles for every gallon of gasoline it is filed with.
To help your items fit into the smallest truck possible, first go through every clothing closet in your home and donate any clothing that has not been worn in over a year. Then, evaluate every item in your home, garage, and any storage unit you have to determine if you really need it after your move or you are just holding onto it for sentimental reasons or fear you will need it "some day." Think realistically and donate or recycle anything (especially large, heavy items) you have been keeping for years that you just really don't need.
Another way to help stick to the smallest moving truck you can is to ensure your moving containers are packed properly. Don't use excessive padding or packaging material when not needed and make sure every container is filled to the brim; containers packed loosely or half-filled just take up unneeded extra space in a truck and can bump you up to a larger truck than you really need. Also ensure that the containers are placed strategically in the truck to fill every nook and cranny in it.
If you have just enough items to fill a smaller truck, but there are just a couple of containers extra that will bump you up to the next size, consider sticking them in your vehicle trunk or even shipping them to your new home to avoid bumping up to that larger-sized truck that will use more gasoline just to transport a few extra items.
If you like to live an environmentally conscious life, then be sure to keep the stress of moving from affecting your commitment to the Earth. Follow these eco-friendly moving tips, and be sure to tell a moving company like a.m.p.m. Movers in advance that you want them to help you keep your move as environmentally conscious as possible.