Moving is tough. Even the most Earth-conscious citizens among us often choose to put their eco-friendly habits on hold to make the moving process a little less stressful. We get it—but honestly—planning a sustainable move doesn’t have to be difficult.
Also, think about how much waste is produced during every move. With 230 million tons of trash ending up in U.S. landfills each year, and transportation causing the majority of air pollution, taking a few extra simple steps is nearly a no-brainer. Here are some of our favorite tips on making your next move greener and easier than ever.
- Start Planning Early
A green move usually means an early, well-planned one. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be time-consuming. Instead, there are just a few more things to keep in mind as your move date draws near. Starting a few months out from your move begin considering:
- Collecting Moving Containers
Buy some new shoes? Subscribe to Blue Apron? Don’t toss those boxes. Keep them for your upcoming move. Ask your friends to pass along any extra boxes your way as well.
Reusing boxes and packing materials are fantastic ways to minimize extra waste. Waiting until the last minute usually means needing to purchase brand new materials, because who has time to track down used boxes in the middle of the move itself?
- Booking an Eco-Friendly Moving Company
The farther out you start planning, the more choices you’ll have when it comes to choosing a great eco-friendly moving company. As the big day gets closer, expect options to dwindle and prices to climb. See Tip 2 for more on eco-friendly movers.
- What’s Moving With You?
Waiting until the last minute usually means hastily packing up or throwing out things without much thought. Packing up more than you need means excess boxes and materials, as well as extra weight and extra trips in the moving van or truck, leading to a bigger carbon footprint.
Also, why throw out things that you can donate or give new life to? In the months leading up to your move, think about what items you no longer have a use for. If they’re in decent shape, sell them online using Facebook Marketplace or letgo for a little extra cash. Or better yet, donate unwanted things to a local charity like Goodwill.
- Finding an Eco-Friendly Moving Company
As consumers have slowly become more conscious of how we impact the planet, so have many moving companies. Research various services in your area to see which ones make reducing their carbon footprint and increasing sustainability a priority. Key things to look for include:
- Fuel Efficient Vehicles: Choose a company with a fleet of vehicles that include hybrids, run on biodiesel, or use other environmentally-friendly fuel options.
- Consolidated Moving: Especially for long-distance moves, consolidating multiple moves is a wonderful way to reduce your move’s carbon footprint. Basically, the mover will look for several customers with similar destinations in the same timeframe. Then, rather than use one truck or van for each client, they will pack up the belongings of two or more customers into one vehicle.
- Reusable Containers: Do they offer reusable containers for rent or purchase? More on that below.
- Reusable is Better
Reusing cardboard boxes is better than getting new ones, but even the best wear down after a few moves—often destined for a landfill. In fact, over 1/3 of all landfill waste is comprised of boxes and other packaging material. Why add to it?
Instead, rent plastic moving containers from many storages or moving companies, all specifically designed for efficient, sustainable transportation. They are easily stackable, waterproof, and already assembled. Then when your move is done, they’re off to be used again!
Also, think about reusable moving containers that you may already have in your home. Shopping bags? Half-filled bins? Storage ottomans? Many homes are full of portable spaces that can easily become handy moving containers for a day and decrease the number of disposable packaging needed overall.
- Be an Efficient Packer and Mover
By efficiently packing your belongings, you’ll not only minimize the number of boxes used, but you can also decrease the number of trips needed to complete the move or the size of the moving vehicle needed.
This will take some strategy and planning while deciding how to fill each box. Some tips for an efficient move include:
- Big Items First: Always start with the heaviest, largest items on the bottom. Not only will this minimize the chance of damage to your property, but it also allows for the optimal number of items to fit in each box.
For example, if you’re packing up the kitchen, place the largest pans on the bottom of the box and gradually place smaller and smaller pans inside. Then see what extra space is left over. Maybe you can also squeeze in your salt and pepper shakers, or a few cups.
- Think Ahead: Haphazard packing often leads to rushed judgment and wasted box space. Avoid grabbing things willy-nilly and throwing them in a random box. Instead, strategize how you can safely fit the most items in with the minimal excess room.
- Ask an Expert: Experts from eco-friendly relocation services, like NYC moving company Roadway Moving, know all of the tricks and strategies for efficiently packing green. If you’re overwhelmed but want to ensure your move is as sustainable as possible, hire your movers to pack your stuff as well.
- Use Smart, Creative Packing Materials
Sure. Bubble wrap works well for keeping stuff secure, but do we really need to use that much plastic? No way! Instead, there are tons of creative and eco-friendly choices that will keep your precious belongings safe and sound. Our favorites include:
- 100% Recycled Packaging Paper: Instead of plastic, choose 100% recycled packaging paper that will completely protect your belongings during transit. Look for brands that are fully recycled, recyclable and biodegradable, like EcoEnclose.
- Use Your Own Stuff: Just think—how many things in your closet would make great packing materials? T-shirts. Blankets. Towels. Socks. All this stuff can double as padding and protection. And an added bonus? Now you don’t have pack it separately freeing up extra space. Two birds, one stone.
Looking for eco-friendly movers? If you’re in the NYC area, trust Roadway Moving. We’re NYC’s #1 rated residential and commercial moving company dedicated to employing many sustainable practices. Contact us at 212-812-5240 to learn more about how we’re constantly trying to make our company as green as possible, or request a free quote today for a stress-free move for you and the planet.
~Article submitted by Dianne of Roadway Moving. Dianne has been writing blogs for quite some time now. She is interested in a lot of things which makes it a joy for her to write about different niche. But among all the niches, business and marketing is her favorite. When she’s not busy writing, Dianne spends her time with her husband Francis and daughter Francinne. This is where she draws inspiration from to continually provide informative blogs to different audience.