Seldom are there better downsizing opportunities than moving. Everything you own is laid out for packing and moving, allowing you to take full stock of everything you own. It’s here that you can really trim the stuff that clutters your home and storage space.
Luckily, getting rid of some of your clutter is a great for both your peace of mind and the environment. Getting rid of your extra or unused items by recycling or donation can maximize the efficiency of your home and minimizing the environmental impact you might have with it.
However, getting ready to downsize during your move is not as easy as you may think. Things like your location, commute, appliances, and even the way you pack for the move can be drastically more efficient and less wasteful with some adjustments. Consider taking the following steps to be a more environmentally-conscious citizen.
Moving is also the best opportunity to get rid of old junk you don’t use. These things can range from old clothes, extra electronics, and even outdated appliances that are inefficient and costly.
During the packing process, sort through your belongings and set aside all the things you’re certain you haven’t used in the past year. Then ask yourself why you haven’t used it. If there’s a moderately good chance you aren’t going to use it again within the next year, it’s junk and is ready to be gotten rid of. The good news is, this will greatly lighten your packing load, regardless of your hoarding habits.
It may go without saying, but recycling is the best way to start a downsizing adventure. While you’re creating throwaway piles, separate the recyclable items from the general trash. Although it’s time consuming, a little effort can go a long way.
Once you move, consider joining a recycling society or environmental association in your new neighborhood. It’s easier to remember to sort your trash appropriately when your neighbors are also mindful of it. If your new neighborhood doesn’t support recycling efforts like that, consider starting one. It takes a community to manage eco-friendly efforts, not just the individuals.
Appliances like refrigerators and washer and dryers tend to be the most difficult to move. Selling or junking them, can really lighten your load. Look into nearby donation centers to see if your working machines could help others.
This also presents the opportunity to purchase more eco-friendly appliances. Washers with eco-friendly water settings and high-efficiency dryers are particularly notable here, because laundry appliances tend to have the largest impact on power and water use in a home.
Cardboard boxes used to be an inevitability of moving. They’re wasteful and not particularly eco-friendly. Corrugated cardboard boxes are expensive and usually only survive one move, whether that’s from damage or an unwillingness to keep them.
Fortunately, services like TygaBox provide a solution. Reusable plastic containers and dollies can make the moving process more streamlined and less wasteful. The containers are stackable and easily transportable, making the the move a breeze.
Even if you don’t purchase them through a specialty service, reusable containers are a better long-term investment. You can even take part in a green-minded sharing system by loaning them out to friends and family during their own moving processes.
If possible, consider downsizing into a smaller home. Living in a large house requires more resources to power, heat, and cool your home. Smaller buildings, or even new apartment buildings that were built to be environmentally conscious, are great alternatives.
Another great way to minimize environmental impact revolves entirely around location. While it’s not feasible for all living situations, living close enough to your workplace to walk can drastically cut your gas bill and emissions. You may even be able to walk or bike, cutting out driving all together. Some areas are better for public transit than others, but see how routes match up with your usual trips around your area and you can use that to cut your transportation costs and keep things green.
Alternatively, you can invest an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Hybridized or electric vehicles, like a Toyota Prius or a Chevy Spark, have lower emissions and typically better gas mileage. This doesn’t completely replace the plan for walking or biking on your commute, but it brings down the environmental impact and price of your everyday trips around town.
For those without the financial ability to make the change to a low-emission vehicle, consider starting a carpool with coworkers. Less cars on the road reduces traffic and emissions, and also has the added benefit of bonding with your coworkers.
Moving is an excellent opportunity to start your journey to becoming more environmentally friendly. Although it’s often overlooked, decisions we make everyday at home have a huge affect on the world around us. With a little dedication and forethought, downsizing your home can be the first step to creating a greener work for everyone.
~Article submitted by guest blogger, Lexi Carr. Lexi is a freelance writer who is passionate and who cares deeply about the environment. She enjoys traveling all over and learning new cultures, habits, and ways of thinking. When she’s not hiking her favorite trails and introducing the outdoors to her pup, Bruno, she’s writing about all of the new and interesting things she’s learned.