How often do we consider the planet when we think about packing up to move our households? As community citizens concerned about our environment and a healthy future for our children, it’s no wonder we’re turning to eco sustainable lifestyles wherever possible. From recycling paper to buying the latest in ‘green’ fads, we as consumers are showing that although we’re not about to start an environmental protest, we do care about the planet and our health.
Surprisingly, moving can be a big resource waster. Think about it. Using cardboard boxes (even if you got them from the grocery store, it’s still paper that’s going to be broken down and sent to another energy-consuming recycling facility). Using wrapping paper. Using plastic bubble wrap. Using petroleum to drive truckloads of our stuff across town.
A little creativity is all it takes to have a green move!
Use Frogboxes: If you are in the Greater Toronto or Vancouver areas, or even in Seattle Washington, you’re in luck. Frogbox is a service that will drop off reusable, perfectly stackable, sturdy boxes to your home on loan until you are done with your move, then take them back to be reused. They don’t require tape, and save a lot of time, which means less cost on the hourly charge of hiring movers.
Use your suitcases: We reuse them for traveling all the time, why not use them for moving? These are great places to store clothing and softer items. Ask to borrow from friends instead of using up more boxes for clothes that won’t fit into the suitcases you already have.
Use household items wisely: There are ways to avoid the high usage of plastic and packing paper. You can protect your fragile and easily breakable items by wrapping them in clothing or in your towels, for example. Fabric won’t get ruined, and can easily be put back into a drawer when you’re done using them for protection. Same goes with couch cushions instead of foam to pad your furniture in the truck.
Blankets are good: Whether you use household blankets or special moving blankets to cover your furniture before the movers arrive, you are being eco-friendly and still protecting your furniture at the same time because blankets can, of course, be re-used. The benefits of moving blankets is that they are specially made to protect furniture from scratches, bumps and weather.
Use rope, not tape: When the occasion arises to tie or seal things up, you can use rope instead of creating trash by using tape. The rope can simply be rolled up after you’re done with it and stored for use another time, like when you go camping this summer!
Hold a garage sale: There are two reasons this is a great choice: a) you’ll make money while helping others discover your hidden treasures that would otherwise be trashed and b) you won’t have to waste time or gas moving the junk to your new home.
Fill up the truck the first time: If you pack the truck properly, or better yet, get professional movers to do it for you, you will be able to fit in more things and possibly avoid having to do a second round of transporting, or renting an additional truck. Moving trucks take up a lot of gas, which we all know is not good for the environment.
While the above are guidelines, you will inevitably find that your move may require you to rebel against your eco friendly pledge at times. That’s ok. Remember, it’s one step at a time, and all the little things add up. You WILL make a difference by using that much less tape, and by sacrificing your sweaters to protect your Royal Albert dining set!