Moving is an inevitable — and often dreaded — part of life. You might have to move for a job, for school, for a relationship, or when your financial situation or the needs of your family change. You may not be able to avoid moving, but you can take control of how the process unfolds, including how it impacts the environment.
Everything from our use of gas and oil to our consumption of new items can have a negative impact on the environment, so the choices we make during this major life event are important. Here are a few things you can do to make your move more eco-friendly by reducing your environmental impact:
Work with Local Moving Companies
The best thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to reduce the amount of gas and oil you use during your move. If you can move closer to where you currently live, that is best. In addition, you should work with local moving companies that are close to your current home or your new one. A huge moving truck will eat up a lot of fuel and oil, so limiting the distance the truck has to drive will reduce your environmental impact.
Also, if you can, find a local moving company that uses trucks with hybrid or electric technology. These trucks will reduce fuel consumption even more.
Reuse Boxes and Moving Supplies
You will need a lot of boxes to pack up everything in your home and ensure that it gets to your new location safely. You will also need supplies like bubble wrap, furniture wrappers, styrofoam peanuts, and other items to wrap or protect your belongings from damage. In most cases, you won’t need to use any of these items again after you have unpacked in your new home, and you will have a lot of paper, cardboard, and plastic that will go to waste.
Instead of buying these items from your local moving company or home-improvement store and contributing to the consumption of new resources, look for these items used. Go to Craigslist, Freecycle, or other community groups to find items that someone else has used in a move and is now giving away. Call your local grocery or big box store and ask them when they put boxes out for recycling, or to save some for you to pick up. You’ll save a lot of money on your move, and you’ll reduce the number of items that end up in the landfill.
Take Time to Declutter
We all tend to accumulate things over the years that we don’t necessarily need any more. We end up moving those items only to realize that we don’t need them when we unpack and start trying to find a place for everything. It would be really unfortunate to make that realization after you’ve paid to move those items.
If you can declutter before the move, you can reduce your load. That means that you can get a smaller truck for your move, which will use less gas and other resources — not to mention save you money. Just be sure not to throw out the items that you don’t want anymore, if you can help it. Sell, donate or recycle as many of them as possible to keep them out of the landfill.
Get Everything in One Trip
Another great way to reduce the amount of fuel and resources you use in your move is to get everything to your new place in one trip. This applies particularly when you’re moving to a new home that is relatively close to your old one. It can be tempting to take a bunch of trips back and forth rather than renting a large moving truck. But all those trips add up in gas, emissions and time. The decluttering step above will help you pare down your belonging to the essentials. Once you have done this, you can then shop for the right truck so that everything fits in one trip.
There’s also the option of working with a professional mover, who will ensure that everything goes in one trip. The movers will know how to pack the truck efficiently so that there is no wasted space, and they will know exactly what size truck is needed. Professionals won’t use a bigger truck than is necessary because that costs them money, and they won’t use a smaller truck because the extra trips will cost them money. Their efficiency will also help to reduce environmental impact.
Moving may be necessary, but it doesn’t have to make a huge impact on the environment or your finances. Taking these steps will help you pare back your use of resources, as well as help you to save money on your move.