Moving to a new home can be quite a challenge, especially if you are trying to do it the eco-friendly way.
You’ll need supplies such as cardboard boxes, packing tape, plastic bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. Then, there is the moving truck that is going to carry all of your household items to another part of town, or even across the country.
Still, moving house the eco-friendly way is not as difficult as you might think and here are some hints to help you tackle the task.
Make the load lighter.
Surely there are items in your home that you don’t really need, so why move them to your new place?
Go through your house and determine which items are really necessary to keep. For those that aren’t, you can hold a garage sale, donate them to a charity, or sell them online via eBay or Craigslist.
The fewer items that you have to take, the fewer boxes and packing materials you are going to need to use.
Think about shipping and fuel.
The further you are moving, the more gas your moving truck is going to use, and the more carbon dioxide it will emit.
Other things that affect this are the size of the truck, the number of items that you are moving, and even the way the truck is driven.
No matter the distance of your move, there are green options that you can go for. For example, you may opt for a company whose trucks run on biodiesel fuel.
If you are moving your car, you can choose to ship it by train rather than drive it or ship by truck. Trains use four times less fuel than trucks.
Be smart about your moving supplies.
Moving boxes are an essential part of your relocation. The best idea is to rent moving boxes, since they are easy to recycle after you have moved into your new home.
You can also go for reusable plastic bins that can be used up to 400 times.
Be sure to ask your moving company whether they have them. Your movers will bring them to your place on a dolly, so that you can fill them before they are packed onto the truck and left at your new place. When the move is complete, the mover will come over to collect them.
When packing your items into the boxes, avoid plastic bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
Use moving supplies made out of bioplastics, which are made from renewable sources such as vegetable oils. You can also replace packing paper with old newspapers and towels in order to make sure that you are keeping fragile items safe the green way.
Avoid moving hazardous materials.
You need to avoid moving any hazardous materials into your new home. Moving companies will refuse to move them, but they can’t always see what the home owners have packed. Hazardous items include corrosive, flammable, and explosive things, such as car batteries, fertilizers, liquid bleach, and paint thinners.
Don’t forget about your environment when getting rid of them though.
Some communities have hazardous materials disposal days that you can make use of. Furthermore, local vendors which deal in these materials can provide you with cheap disposal services.
Go green in your new home.
When you are settled into your new home, you can develop green habits and save energy, live a safe and healthy life, make less waste, and of course, recycle.
Make sure that all the appliances and electronics are unplugged when not in use. You can use power strips which turn unplugging into single-switch action. Replace all incandescent light bulbs with more energy-effective alternatives, such as compact fluorescent lights or LEDs.
Solar panels can be installed on your roof in order to create renewable energy. They aren’t cheap, but can decrease your bills in the long run.
When moving into a new home, you must never forget about your environment.
Find a moving company that uses eco-friendly practices, and think about the moving supplies that you are going to use.
Moving hazardous materials is a bad idea, so find a green way to get rid of them before your move.
Once you have settled into your new home, set a goal of an eco-friendly life, learning new practices you are going to follow in the future.
Leila Dorari is a freelance writer and home-improvement enthusiast from Sydney. Currently she is spreading the word on how relocating our homes with the reusable moving boxes can help the planet get greener, one small move at a time.