Is your goal for the year to reduce your carbon footprint?
You might find your next move a bit challenging, but you can fulfill your goal by choosing the most environmentally friendly packing materials, reduce carbon emissions during transportation, as well as share, and reuse supplies.
Here are some tips for a green move:
Get smart about moving supplies
The average house uses about 60 cardboard boxes during a move – an equivalent of half a ton of wood. Reusing your friends’ moving supplies is a great first step in reducing your carbon footprint. Depending on its quality, a cardboard box can be reused 3 to 10 times.
However, if you do not have cardboard boxes, here are better packing alternatives:
Recycled plastic bins
Ask your movers whether they have reusable bins made of recyclable plastic. A plastic bin can be used up to 400 times. Dollies are used to move these bins from your house to the truck and back. If your mover does not offer these reusable bins, many other companies do.
There are green replacements for foam wrap, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. Oftentimes, these alternatives are usually green in color. Green packing peanuts are made from bioplastics – a plastic that is made from renewable sources such as cornstarch and vegetable oils.
Be creative with what you have
The most resourceful way to move your fragile belongings is by wrapping them in clothing or towels that you have around the house. This solution kills two birds with one stone because you have to pack them anyway.
Know your fuel and shipping options
Whether you are moving long-distance or locally can have a great effect on the amount of gas the truck uses and the carbon dioxide emitted. The amount of stuff you have and the way you drive also makes a big difference; small trucks get 9 miles per gallon while large ones get 5 miles per gallon.
Whether you are moving within the state or across states, you should look for greener fuel options.
Car shipping via rail
If you have to move with your car, you do not necessarily have to drive it. You can opt to have it shipped via train instead of truck to reduce your carbon footprint. On average, a train is about four times more fuel efficient than a truck.
Some moving companies use biodiesel fuel on their trucks. If you can find several companies that use this fuel, ask for an estimate from at least three of them.
De-clutter and donate
Instead of moving with things that you do not need, lighten your load by donating them. If you have less stuff to ship, you will use a smaller truck and pump fewer toxins into the atmosphere.
Start new habits in your new house
Once you get to your new home, get into the habit of saving energy, recycling, and creating less waste. Here are a few things you can do:
- Stop air from leaking under windowpanes, doorways, and through the roof. This reduces your energy bill.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs which are more efficient and do not contain mercury.
- Install solar panels to generate renewable energy.
- When not in use, unplug electronics and phone chargers.
As you apply these tips, make sure you have ample time to prep.
According to Stephen Favato, founder of Tiger Moving & Storage, cancel any household or office services that you use 4-6 weeks before your move.
Preparation is key! The more time you spend in advance to manage your move, the better organized you will feel.