Secrets for an eco-friendly move

Moving to a new home is a big event with plenty to think about. Despite having lots to do, it's easy to make your next move more environmentally friendly. How? Here are some helpful tips.

Secrets for an eco-friendly move

[Image credit: iStock.com/AleksandarNakic]

Moving is a stressful event for not only you, but also the planet. Transporting an entire household's contents requires plenty of packing materials and produces it's fair share of greenhouse gases. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid excess waste.

If you won't need it, leave it behind

One of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of your move is to cut down the amount of stuff you bring. Think of moving as the excuse you've needed to purge your closets and the rest of the house of everything you've accumulated but don't use.

  • You'll end up needing fewer boxes and might be able to use a smaller truck.

Recycle or donate extra stuff

  • You can donate or sell items like unwanted books, clothing and furniture, but perishable food won't survive the trip.
  • Friends, neighbours or a local food pantry may be glad to accept unopened cartons of eggs, milk or frozen items.

Stop junk mail

Now's also a good time to stop any junk mail.

  • Inform companies not to send this type of mail to your new and old addresses.

Cut down on disposable packing materials

Reuse old cardboard boxes instead of buying new ones.

  • Call local stores and find out if they have any you can use. If the answer is yes, ask employees to hold them for you, then map out an efficient driving route to pick them up.

If you do buy new cardboard boxes, be sure to purchase ones made from recycled materials.

  • Whether you reuse boxes or buy new ones, don't just toss them after you unpack. Take them to a cardboard box exchange that will give them to someone who can reuse them or make sure they get recycled.

Another option is to rent plastic bins for moving instead of using cardboard boxes.

  • The bins stack easily, which makes it simple to wheel them out of your apartment or house and arrange them in moving trucks.

There are also eco-friendly alternatives for other packing materials, like bubble wrap.

  • Avoid buying any cushioning material by using blankets, towels and clothing. Since you would have to pack those items anyway, using them to wrap your belongings reduces the number of boxes you'll need. Even egg cartons can be used for cushioning. Tie boxes with reusable twine instead of using tape, which must be discarded.

Reduce moving truck emissions

Decrease the amount of fuel that is burned by renting the smallest truck that will hold your belongings.

  • Some companies now offer trucks that run on biodiesel for reduced greenhouse emissions.

Live green in your new home

To keep the eco-friendly living going at your new home:

  • Make sure you use green cleaning products for move-in cleaning
  • Buy energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Recycle your moving materials

With any luck, your new home will be so comfortable that you won't need to move again for years to come!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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