If you’re committed to reducing your carbon footprint, there are many changes you can make in your lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. One area that’s easy to overlook is your move. There’s no doubt that moving is stressful, but consider the amount of packing supplies and gasoline involved in the average move. When it comes to your next household move, here’s how you can make a conscious effort to choose eco-friendly materials, use supplies, and reduce carbon emissions during the long transport.
#1. Choose Reusable Boxes
Boxes, tape, and packing material aren’t just expensive; they can also end up in a landfill. Instead, consider investing in reusable bins to transport your belongings. If you don’t need many after your move, another option is a returnable packing box service that allows you to return the storage containers when you’re done with moving. Many moving companies are now catching on that consumers want more eco-friendly solutions; you may find a mover who rents recycled plastic bins.
#2. Use Recycled Boxes
Sometimes plastic bins aren’t a reasonable solution, and there are no alternatives in your area. If you’re going to move with cardboard boxes, make sure they’re recycled. According to data published by Allstate, the typical American household uses 60 cardboard boxes to complete a move. It takes a half ton (1000 pound) tree to produce that much cardboard. Yikes! If that already doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that the average American moves 11 times and uses 660 cardboard boxes to do it — which works out to 5.5 tons of wood per person just for moving.
Look for ads for used moving boxes, ask your friends if they have any empty boxes at home, and choose boxes that are already made from recycled materials.
#3. Ditch the Plastic Wrap, Peanuts, and Foam
There are plenty of environmentally-friendly, biodegradable alternatives to harmful plastic packing materials and they’re just as effective. Instead of packing peanuts, which are usually made from a non-recyclable material called polystyrene, use old newspapers or starch-based peanuts which are fully biodegradable.
#4. Get a Truck that Runs on Bio-Fuel
The type of fuel used by your moving company plays a big role in determining how green they are. Biodiesel fuel is animal fat or vegetable oil-based diesel fuel, and it’s the first clean-burning and renewable replacement for diesel fuel in the United States. Many moving companies have converted their fleet to run on biodiesel fuel, and they are usually advertised as green or eco-friendly movers. Book your move through SF Moving Company – Cheap Movers San Francisco and ask about environmentally-friendly options.
#5. Donate Before Moving
While planning for a big move is the perfect time to get rid of the belongings you don’t need, tossing out your unwanted junk will only contribute to landfill waste.
Whenever possible, donate goods to charitable organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity. If you have a larger donation, the organization may even arrange to come to your house to pick it up. This is especially important when it comes to furniture, the least-recycled household item which accounts for about 9.8 million tons of waste in U.S. landfills.
#6. Recycle What You Can’t Donate
Recycling is about much more than cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and soda cans in your recycling bin. Many items in your home can be recycled rather than trashed before your move, but some will require dropping off at a special recycling center. Before tossing, check your area for recycling programs that can accept:
- Electronics like computers and cords
- Paint cans
- Appliances like microwaves, refrigerators, and TVs