According to the United States Census Bureau, more the forty million Americans move each year. Moreover, this is a growing trend since the American population is becoming increasingly mobile. Unfortunately, each move has a significant environmental impact. However, if we each do our part, we can also reduce this impact substantially. Below, you will find six eco-friendly moving tips on how to reduce your environmental footprint when you move.
Use Eco-friendly Moving Boxes
Instead of buying cardboard moving boxes that you'll use only once, you can buy reusable boxes made from 100% recycled plastic. There are also several companies who specialize in renting these types of eco-friendly boxes. Besides being kind to the environment, there are many other advantages to using recycled plastic boxes. They're easily stackable, have tight fitting lids, and have sturdy handles making them easier to carry. They're also much stronger than cardboard boxes meaning your stuff won't get crushed or fall out the bottom.
Recycle Cardboard Boxes
If you do use cardboard moving boxes, you can keep them out of the landfill. Many movers toss their cardboard boxes in the trash after they unload them at their new place. Instead, you can save them for future use if you have the storage space. If you are renting a storage unit (in Auckland, for example) to store some of your belongings, you can always store your moving cardboard boxes on top of your other stuff as they are lightweight when empty. You can also advertise on CraigsList to give away free moving boxes. Other movers will often be glad to get them so they don't have to scrounge around desperately hunting for boxes. As a last resort, you can take the cardboard boxes to a recycling center.
Use Recycled Bubble Wrap and Packaging Peanuts
Instead of buying new bubble wrap and packaging peanuts, try to hunt down used packing materials and recycle it. As soon as you anticipate moving, ask your friends, family, neighbors, and local businesses to place save these materials for you. In the process of doing this, it will encourage others to save and recycle packaging materials too.
Don't Toss Usable Items In the Trash
Moving is usually a time we finally clean out our closets. Many movers will simply toss old clothes, bedding, household plants, and other items into the trash. These items end up in the landfill. Avoid this tragedy by donating your unwanted items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores that support causes like help for battered women, the homeless, and habitat for humanity. There is also a free category on CraigsList where you can give your items to people who really want and need them. You can also let your neighbors take what they want.
Give Away Your Perishable Food
Instead of tossing perishable food and other food you don't want to take with you, take the time to give this food away to your friends and neighbors. Homeless shelters would also be glad to get this food. You could even make up some lunches and pass them out to homeless people on the street.
Use Bio-diesel Moving Trucks
Some moving companies offer moving trucks that run on biodegradable biodiesel. Biodiesel is a renewable resource, unlike gasoline, made from plant sources like soybeans, canola, and sunflowers. Burning biodiesel is also far less toxic to the environment than burning gasoline. It releases fewer particulates, sulfates, and carbon monoxide into the air.
Good luck with your move and please help us spread the word about the importance of eco-friendly moving.
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