Most people do not realize just how bad the act of moving can be for the environment. If you stop and think about it though, a lot of damage is done during this one act, from contributing to deforestation to excessive fuel consumption to the use of toxic cleaning supplies. There are quite a few things you can do though to reduce your carbon footprint during this time. You may also be interested in learning that some of the best moving companies also have their own set of “green” standards that they pride themselves in maintaining.
Clean Moving Trucks
Okay, clean has nothing to do with the truck going through the car wash or being swept out before arriving at your house. There are some companies that have teamed up with SmartWay, which is a private/public collaboration between the transportation industry and the USEPA. Using a fuel-efficient eco-friendly truck with low emissions will play a huge role in cutting down on the negative environmental impact a move can have.
There is really no reason why you should ever need to purchase boxes and contribute to deforestation. Actually, if you have gowns or expensive suits, and you want a wardrobe box, this could be an exception to the rule. Other than this, there is no need to waste a tree or your money.
Used boxes can be found in a long list of places and the best part of using them is that they are absolutely free. Places to check include restaurants and bars and most stores, such as grocery, liquor, office supply, and book varieties. If you can get a few liquor or copy paper boxes, these are ideal for heavy items.
Recycle Your Boxes
Don’t even think about putting all those boxes out to the curb when you are done with them. You can offer them for free on Craigslist, or some moving companies will take them and either let others use them or they will recycle them. Even if you don’t give them to someone, they absolutely must be recycled.
Did you know that there are companies that rent plastic bins? Not only does this eliminate the use of cardboard, but you also don’t need to use tape either. Open the lid, fill with your belongings and close the lid. It couldn’t be simpler. They are durable, so the bottoms won’t fall out when they get a little heavy, and you don’t have to deal with the cardboard drying out your hands. Some places let you order what you need right online, and they will deliver to your door and pick them up when you are done with them.
An eco-friendly biodegradable tape is now readily available, so you don’t need to use the stuff with chemicals that clog landfills. Plus, it includes recycled products, which is always a bonus. You can skip the bubble wrap and the unnecessary packing supplies as well. Towels, linens, tees, sweatshirts, blankets and anything else you need to move anyway will work just as well.
Green Cleaning Supplies
If you have gone through the trouble of hiring one of the best moving companies with fuel-efficient trucks and you have skipped the cardboard boxes and opted for rented bins, why would you ruin it all by using toxic cleaning supplies? These products are bad for your health and the environment. There are enough affordable eco-friendly options these days that there is never a reason to purchase products with harmful ingredients.
Learn more about green moving in our eco-friendly moving guide.