If you are planning to move house, there are many ways in which it can negatively affect the environment. And during a time when the effects of climate change are all around us, many are opting to take matters into their own hands in order to decrease their carbon footprint and make the world a greener place. To find out what you can do to help make your move more environmentally friendly, here are some helpful tips to consider.
Use Smart Supplies
Moving house requires many supplies, from boxes and packing paper to tape, labels and dollies. On average, a single move can take up to 60 cardboard boxes. This is the equivalent of a half-ton tree. Considering that the typical American moves around 11 times in his/her lifetime, this equals a major number of trees cut down for the production of moving boxes. One good thing about cardboard boxes is that, depending on their quality, they can be used 3 to 10 times before needing to be recycled. If you want your move to be more eco-friendly, there are some alternatives to cardboard boxes – as well as other traditional packing supplies. Check these out:
Recycled Plastic Bins. Reusable plastic bins are an excellent alternative to cardboard moving boxes. They are easy to find, aren’t too expensive, and can be reused time and time again. Whether used for small items or large, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used during your move as well as after for storage purposes.
Biodegradable Supplies. Bubble wrap is cheap and protective – two qualities that are greatly efficient during a move. Unfortunately, it’s not the most eco-friendly packing supply. For greener options, opt for packing peanuts and foam wrap. Green packing peanuts (they really are green in color!) are made from bio-plastics, which is a form of plastic derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oil or corn starch. While they may be made from difference resources, they are just as efficient to protect your belongings during a move.
Be Creative. One of the most resourceful ways to securely pack your belongings, save money on supplies, and also be eco-friendly is to use items that you can find in your home. For example, towels, bedding, and clothing can be used to wrap breakables.
Shipping and Fuel Options
The more further your relocation is, how much stuff you have, the size of your moving truck, as well as the way you drive all play a prominent role in the amount of fuel you will require to move from point A to point B. Not only is this costly to your budget, but also to the environment.
According to carbon dioxide calculations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), depending on the size of your moving truck:
- A small truck used for a short-distance move (under 10 miles) can emit 22 pounds of CO2, while a large truck used for a long-distance move can emit up to 40 pounds.
- A cross-country move of 3,000 miles in a small truck can emit 6,500 pounds of CO2, while the same cross-country move in a large truck can emit close to twice that, at 11,760 pounds.
Whether your relocation will take you nearby or far away, here are some green options to consider:
Biodiesel Fuel. If renting a truck from a moving company, find out if they offer trucks that run on biodiesel fuel, which is a greener alternative to standard gasoline.
Ship Car Via Train. If you need to transport a car during your move, consider doing so via train. Compared to using a truck service to ship your car to your new location, using a train service will save four times more fuel.
Lighten Your Load. Another way to make your move more environmentally friendly is to relocate fewer items. The less stuff you have to ship, the smaller the truck you will need. The result? Less spent on fuel and less CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. To lighten your load, de-clutter, donate and sell any items you will no longer need post-move.
New Habits Post-Move
Striving to make your relocation eco-friendly doesn’t just involve pre-move tasks – it also includes your post-move habits. For instance, once in your new home, it is a good idea to get into the habit of saving energy, creating less waste, and recycling in your everyday life. Here are some things you can do to stay green after your move:
Change Light Bulbs. Instead of using incandescent light bulbs around your home, opt for LED (light-emitting diodes) lights. Though a bit more costly, LEDs last at least twice as long and also don’t contain mercury.
Stop Air Leaks. Every time you use your air conditioner or heater in your new home, it costs money. To get the most of these services, it’s a good idea to stop any air leaks under doorways, window panels, and out of the roof.
Unplug. Leaving things plugged in when not in use is an easy way to increase your power bill and your carbon footprint. To counter this, unplug all appliances, electronics and phone chargers when not in use.
Install Solar Panels. Solar panels are a great way to generate renewable energy. They may require a large investment up front, but they will definitely pay off in the long run, providing renewable energy without the burden of electricity bills.
For all things you need to know for your upcoming move, click here.