How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Move

Imagine, it is only one week before your move-in date and tensions are high. You have to worry about the: truck, movers, boxes, move-out and move-in inspection, key-exchange, and on top of that you just found out there is a 90-percent overcast probability for heavy rain! If this sounds overwhelming you are most certainly right, and for many, the last thing on their mind is the environment. However, it doesn’t have to remain that way, in fact there are many ways to stay proactive without compromising the efficiency of your move.

1. Buy used or donated moving boxes:

It would be a shame if cardboard, which is made using wood pulp, sulfates, glue, electricity, and a lot of water, would simply be thrown out after a single use. Fortunately, many large companies such as supermarkets and clothing stores, who receive mass shipments of cardboard boxes daily, would be happy to give away their boxes at no additional charge. Additionally, classified advertising websites like Kijiji and Craigslist have a “free” section which is loaded with many free moving essentials, including packing-boxes. Please remember that second-hand boxes may have damage or tears from their previous load, which may weaken the integrity of the cardboard. In this case, you can still use the boxes for packing, but ensure that you only pack lighter items such as clothing or miscellaneous goods.

2. Reduce redundant and repetitive moving trips:

It’s no surprise that moving trucks consume copious amounts of fuel, which is why it is important to keep the amount of back-and-forth trips to a minimum. Consider first consulting with your movers or moving company about which route (given the traffic) will reduce the amount of drive-time to your destination. Google maps has a great navigation feature which allows you to access multiple routes, including which route is the quickest. Another option is to move during off-peak hours when traffic is at a minimum.

3. Use recyclable packing materials:

Unlike recyclable cardboard, a lot of the packing materials that go into cushioning items like: glass, picture frames, and other delicate possessions are not as easily recycled. There is however another great way to keep your fragile items safe without compromising the environment. Reusable air pillows for instance, can be inflated and inserted in-between delicate items for added padding, and then deflated and stored until they are needed next. Additionally, organic cushioning such as popped popcorn has grown to become a popular homemade alternative to Styrofoam filling. The popcorn can be either purchased or made at home. Regardless of either method, it is advised that you use oil-free air popped kernels to avoid any oil transferring onto your belongings. Lastly, you can simply dispose of your eco-packing material in the garden or in your local compost bin!

In short, moving can be a stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be stressful on the environment. You are only a brief moment away from starting your own eco-friendly move! Remember to ask your local supermarket for any spare boxes or search in the “free” section on websites like Craigslist or Kijiji for used boxes. You can also pad your more fragile items with compostable materials like popped popcorn, or reusable cushioning such as an air pillow. Lastly, you can speak with your moving company to determine the most fuel efficient route to take; by utilizing google maps and only moving during off-peak hours. Happy moving!

Leave a Comment