Many people that are moving rush around for packing materials, have a pile of unwanted stuff and overflowing garbage cans and make every effort to get their items from one location to the next without anything getting lost or broken. Often, it’s not an eco-friendly process due to the packing materials and all of the items that are tossed into the trash. With a little planning, adhering to some tips can help you green your move and even make the moving process a little easier and cost-efficient.
Use Someone Else’s Boxes
Websites such as Freecycle and Craigslist allow people to post plenty of free materials which include boxes, packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Often these are items that a person used in a move or that a business has left over from purchases. It saves you a lot of money on packing materials and also helps keep those materials from ending up in the trash.
Go through everything you have and separate them into piles depending on whether you want to give them away, donate them or sell them. It may require needing a smaller mode of transportation to bring everything from your old home to your new one if you get rid of enough items, which not only uses less gas but typically costs less money to rent as well.
Get Rid of Unwanted Items Ahead of Time
It’s not uncommon to see piles of furniture and other items near a dumpster when someone didn’t get rid of them before they moved. Selling, giving away and donating your unwanted items ahead of time will prevent you from having to toss them in the trash if you don’t have time to do anything else with them. Start at least a month or more before your moving date. This is especially helpful if you’re selling or donating furniture as some people or charitable organizations need to arrange a way to transport it.
Wrap Fragile Items in Fabrics
If you are short on packing materials, wrapping your items in fabrics you already own is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to protect your breakables instead of buying more packing materials. Wrap dishes in large bath or pool towels and bundle coffee mugs into t-shirts. Protect drinking glasses by putting each glass in a tube sock, then rolling up the corresponding sock and putting it inside the glass for extra protection. You can roll up other pieces of clothing and stuff them in between your items to prevent them from sliding around. When you are later unpacking, open the fabric on a carpeted floor or on the couch so nothing will break if it slides out.
Use Damaged Clothing for Cleaning
If you can’t sell any of your clothes because they have stains on them or they’re ripped, use them for the cleaning you have to do before you move instead of using paper towels. You can wash and reuse them later on to clean your new home.
Pass Along Your Packing Materials
After you move, list your packing materials on Craigslist or Freecycle for someone else to use during their move. The packing materials won’t take up space in your home, you won’t have to toss them in the trash and it’ll help someone else be eco-friendly and save some money as well.
Being eco-friendly during your move is actually less costly than packing and moving the standard way. The more people that green their moving habits, the more likely it is that furniture, electronics, packing materials and various other disposed of items are going to stay out of landfills. Your eco-friendly habits also help others save money by allowing them to buy or receive low-cost or free items they otherwise may not have been able to afford. It also helps them develop green habits as well which they, in turn, can pass on to others.