Moving is typically not an eco-friendly endeavour. From packing up your belongings, to cleaning both your old and new homes and having everything transported from one location to another, there’s plenty of potential to harm the environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way – follow these simple tips and make your relocation a responsible one.
If you don’t need it, don’t take it
One of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint when moving is to reduce the amount of stuff you have to move. Go through you belongings and sort out things you no longer need. Clothing, furniture and books can be donated to charities, thrift stores or sold in a garage sale. If you have items that need to be thrown out, do so responsibly by recycling wherever possible. Always dispose of electronics properly. Check out the Alberta Recycling Management Authority website for tips on how to safely recycle used electronics and to find the collection site nearest you.
It’s also a good idea to consider donation when you’re going through your fridge prior to moving. If you have canned goods that you don’t want to move with you, donate them to your local food bank.
Go green to get clean
Whether it’s the home you’re leaving or the one you’re moving into, you’re likely to be doing a great deal of cleaning during your move. Cleaning products are typically very bad for the environment, as well as your health, so choose green cleaning products whenever possible. Look for products that are non-toxic and biodegradable and read through the ingredient list to make sure they’re all natural. You can also consider making your own cleaner using vinegar and water.
It used to be that in preparing for a move you had to gather up cardboard boxes and packing tape – not exactly environmentally friendly. Not anymore – thanks to green moving companies like FrogBox and EcoBox that rent reusable plastic moving boxes. These companies allow you to order boxes online, drop the boxes off at your home on a date that you’ve requested and then pick them up after you’ve completed your move. The boxes are stackable, making them easy to transport. They’re also waterproof and sturdy, so you can be sure that even your most delicate possessions will make it to your new home in one piece. By going this route, you’ll not only save yourself from having to fold and tape boxes, but you’ll also save some trees!
When it comes to packing your breakable items, avoid using bubble and plastic wrap and packing peanuts. Instead, wrap delicates in blankets, towels and linens.
If you’ve decided to hire a moving company to help you with your relocation, look for one that follows eco-friendly practices. Before booking a company, inquire about their environmental policies. Here are some questions to ask:
- Do they use only recycled packing materials?
- Do they have a no idling policy?
- Do they make an effort to reduce fuel consumption through a shortest route possible policy or speed monitoring?
If you’d rather handle your move on your own, be sure to rent a moving van that’s the right size for what you have to move – the smaller the van, the lower the fuel consumption. And to reduce your carbon footprint even further, load your belongings in such a way that allows you to make the fewest trips back and forth.