Millions of people move to a new home or apartment every year. In fact, in 2017 alone, about 11% of people in the U.S. relocated. But while moving to a new home can be very exciting, moving can actually result in a lot of waste — boxes, garbage, and packing supplies can all add up pretty quickly. So if you’re looking to go green with your next move, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Use What You Have
One of the biggest sources of waste when it comes to moving is packing supplies. Many people buy boxes, packing peanuts, and styrofoam to safely pack their belongings, only to throw away these items once they’ve moved. So instead of producing this unnecessary waste, consider using what you already have. If you have plastic bins, boxes, baskets, and even reusable bags, use these items to pack your belongings in. You can even use luggage and other bags for less fragile items. As for your clothing, leave whatever you can in your dressers to avoid having to put clothing items into another box or bin. And don’t forget to fill up items with other items before packing them — if you have a trashcan or decorative basket you’re bringing, put items inside to save on space and packing materials.
Donate As Much As Possible
When you’re going through your belongings and purging before you start to pack, it can be tempting to simply throw away things you don’t want any more. However, this is going to quickly add up to a lot of waste. So instead, you should try to donate, or recycle, whatever you can. You can donate almost anything — clothes, furniture, books, and even electronics can all be donated if they’re in decent condition. You can even give things like old towels to animal shelters. Donating whatever you can will significantly decrease the amount of waste you’re creating during the move. And what you can’t donate, try to recycle. With Americans using 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, it’s important to recycle plastic, paper, and cardboard items. You can even recycle electronics instead of sending them to a landfill.
Be Mindful of How Much You’re Driving
Moving tends to involve a lot of running around. And if you’re moving nearby and are one of the 218 million drivers in the U.S. with a drivers license, you may feel inclined to take smaller trips and avoid having to load up your vehicle to the max. Unfortunately, this will result in a higher number of trips back and forth between houses, meaning increased pollution from your vehicle. So instead, try to take as few trips as possible. While this may be more of an effort, it will reduce your carbon footprint. Or if you can, hire an eco-friendly moving company who can move all of your belongings in one trip. There are plenty of moving companies who focus on going green by consolidating shipments and using eco-friendly fuel, so this can be a big help.
Moving can be a stressful experience for not only you, but the planet, too. So make sure to keep these simple tips in mind to go green during your next move.