How to be eco-conscious when moving to a new home

Over four million Canadians changed addresses over the course of a year, according to the 2011 Canadian National Household Survey. That's a lot of moving boxes, bubble wrap and other packing materials accumulating in landfills. Follow these tips for an eco-friendly move.

How to be eco-conscious when moving to a new home

Save a tree by using used moving boxes

  • Forgo buying new moving boxes and instead pick up used boxes at a local liquor store or grocery store.
  • Liquor store boxes tend to be heavy duty and are perfect for transporting heavy items, such as books and kitchenware.
  • Moving companies offer movers throughout North America the opportunity to buy, sell or exchange used moving boxes with other movers.

Use bio-friendly materials to wrap delicate items

  • Rather than purchasing bubble wrap and other packing supplies slow to breakdown in a landfill, use old newspapers to wrap glassware and other delicate items.
  • Grocery stores that offer free newspapers will often have stacks of old newspapers that you can use.
  • Alternatively, look for biodegradable packing supplies, such as "eco-peanuts" made out of compostable cornstarch or cushioned wrapping supplies made out of recycled materials.

Recycle unwanted items

  • Moving can be the perfect time to discard unwanted clothing or household items. Forgo throwing away these items by donating them.
  • There are blue textile donation bins set up throughout Canada to collect clothing, including purses, belts, linens, reading glasses and drapery, on behalf of local charities.
  • If you want to donate furniture and large unwanted items, contact a furniture bank to arrange a pickup.
  • They'll collect items such as beds, kitchen items, lamps and televisions to help those who are transitioning out of homelessness.

Donate or recycle unwanted electronics

  • Contact the Electronic Recycling Association to find the nearest drop-off centre to dispose of unwanted electronics in an eco-friendly manner.
  • The organization collects computers, printers, televisions, and other types of electronics.

Properly dispose of batteries

  • Batteries are extremely environmentally hazardous if not disposed of properly.
  • When moving, collect and discard old batteries by taking them to a battery collection centre.
  • Make an effort to be eco-friendly during your move by donating, recycling, and properly disposing of unwanted items and using bio-friendly or used packing supplies.
  • Taking the time to donate or recycle isn't only environmentally important, it can also result in savings.
  • Reusing liquor store boxes and using old newspapers for packing can help significantly reduce the cost incurred in buying new moving supplies.
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