In the spirit of loving the earth, let’s explore eco-friendly moving. Please utilize the blog feedback form below to open discussion and share your own ideas on moving without hurting the Earth. You never know who will be reading this! I would hate for you to pass up the opportunity to highlight your brilliant ideas to Oprah’s producers or such who may be reading this as research for the next big show on Earth Day and is looking for guest speakers.
The first thing you should always do before moving is plan ahead. As early as possible, try getting rid of anything you do not use. Sell items on eBay to make extra money if you have time. Donate to a charity in your area. Recycle everything you can, minimizing the last-minute rush to throw out anything that is left. If you are buying any new electronics, keep the boxes. The best box to move your TV, computer and stereo in is the original box. You don’t have to keep many original boxes, but consider keeping the boxes on your big purchases.
As you are planning your move, keep your eyes open for other tenants moving in. Ask them if you can take their old boxes and packaging to recycle them. They will probably be more than happy to have you take them off their hands. Remember to be considerate and to get the boxes when you say you are going to. You do not want them to sit there for a week, in their way or as an eyesore, waiting for you to get around to picking them up.
Make a commitment to yourself that you are not going to buy boxes. If you Google “moving box exchange” or “free moving boxes” you will find many opportunities to get moving boxes for free! U-Haul has a program to recycle boxes by posting ads on their website. Some real estate offices also offer this service on their local websites. Craigslist also offers free classified ads and is a great place to find moving boxes or to give away your when you are done. If you find that you do have to buy boxes, try to at least buy used boxes first. Try Used Cardboard Boxes.com before buying new boxes.
Packing materials can also be found for earth friendly moves. You can use your own recycled newspapers and ask your friends to start saving their papers. You can also use recycled paper grocery bags that are heavier for very delicate items. There are biodegradable pellets used specifically for earth friendly moves made from recycled diapers or corn starch.
Use rentals if possible. In some areas there are companies that will rent boxes and supplies to you. This eliminates any waste. The boxes are typically not cardboard but heavier plastic, further protecting your property. earthfriendlymoving.com offers a nice plastic bin that “rents for just a buck a box a week.” They also offer biodegradable padding and recycled paper sludge cubes.
If you are renting a moving truck, inquire if they have a truck that uses bio-fuel. Many of the large companies are now offering this. Use the smallest truck possible to fit your belongings into. Pack the truck as well as you can. The tighter the truck is packed, the less movement there will be, making a more secure move. The tighter the truck is packed also minimizes multiple trips and more fuel. You do not want a large truck filled only halfway. There will be a lot of movement, increasing the chances of damage to your property. There will also be more fuel used on a larger vehicle.
Being conscious of the earth when moving seems like a no-brainer. It is very hard to find negative aspects to it. When you plan ahead you can clean out your apartment prior to moving. This will recycle items you no longer use and may be a treasure for someone else. You can get your moving supplies mostly for free or very inexpensively. You will also be doing your part to limit the trash that goes into our landfills.