After a move, packing peanuts and bubble wrap almost always just end up in the landfill. For the eco-conscious mover, this is a tragedy – and a waste. Fortunately, there are some easy and innovative ways to pack for a move with alternatives that you might already have on hand. Before you succumb to the bubble wrap, give these eco-friendly packing materials a try.
Start with reusable moving boxes
These days, many eco-friendly moving services offer reusable moving boxes for rent. They will deliver them to your home prior to the move and, when you’re done unpacking, take them away to be used again. That saves you the headache of disposing of tons of boxes and also provides a more durable (and environmentally friendly) way to transport your belongings to your new home.
Blankets, linens, and towels
Use things like towels, linens, and blankets to get started. Blankets are great for padding large items like lamps (though consider using a moving-specific blanket for big things like couches), towels fold nicely around photo frames and small decorations, and any of these can take up space in boxes that aren’t quite full. Just be careful what items you use for kitchenware, as they may end up smelling like food.
In the months prior to your move, save up your corrugated cardboard and other paper products to be used as eco-friendly packing material. Ripping and folding up your cardboard can create great space-holders in not-full boxes, and crumpled newspaper or office paper makes a great cushion. Then you can toss it in the recycling after the move!
Note: If you use newspaper, wrap the item(s) in a trash bag or otherwise create a barrier to prevent the transfer of smeary ink.
Crowdsource upcycled materials
A quick search on Craigslist or other local platforms in your area may uncover someone looking to offload their gently-used packing materials. What better way to source green moving supplies than to keep some trash out of the waste stream? Some moving stores also offer a place for customers to leave materials for the next person, so check all of your resources in the area for any opportunity to reuse.
If you must purchase, go green
Sometimes you just need to buy packing materials for things like dish sets or fragile antiques. In this case, you can choose recycled paper