You quit plastic bags and gave up disposable water bottles. You even went paper-free on bills and newsletters. These small, but important, changes reduce waste every day and add up to make a big difference. So how can you maintain your eco-friendly lifestyle on one of the most wasteful days in your household — moving day? Before you start to clean out your closets, pantry and garage, or gather up packing materials, follow these simple 5 steps to reduce waste on moving day.
1. Use eco-friendly moving supplies.
Start by asking your moving company for used boxes made of recyclable materials. Used boxes can be purchased at a discount. Some moving companies will even give you a refund for returning your used boxes at the end of your move. Also, use this box calculator to find out how many boxes you’ll need.
2. Go natural.
Foam popcorn and packing peanuts often end up in landfills or the ocean, why not try a more natural filler like real popcorn to pack fragile items. Pop natural kernels (avoid butter-flavored popcorn) to fill gaps in your boxes and secure fragile items. This method is both delicious and earth-friendly.
3. Give back.
As you clean out your closets, garage, and pantry, you will be tempted to throw out a lot of accumulated junk. While decluttering is a great idea before a move, don’t just toss out items before considering if they can be given a second life. For example, you can donate unwanted furniture to the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and clothing and household items to your local favorite charity, such as Goodwill, for someone else to enjoy.
You can even reuse your moving boxes to donate your items. Simply visit GiveBackBox.com to learn how to use your used boxes to ship your donations off to a charity without any cost to you. Lastly, if you have any unopened leftover food on moving day, donate it to Move For Hunger. Keep your moving-related and donation receipts to save green on your taxes next year.
4. Recycle electronics with care.
If you decide to lighten your load and get rid of computers, microwaves, and other older electronics — make sure to contact a domestic e-waste company so the electronics recycling is regulated by U.S. environmental laws rather than being shipped off to be processed with the highly-toxic and environment-polluting techniques used in some third world countries.
5. Hire an eco-friendly moving company.
How do you know if your moving company follows eco-friendly moving practices? Start by asking: Does the staff recycle? Are the offices and warehouse designed to be energy efficient? Is Biodiesel used to run their trucks? Are 100 % recyclable materials used for packing? Do they sell used boxes? Do they offer to buy them back at the end of the move? Doing this extra research is worth it. If your movers care about the earth, then they care about their clients too.
Good luck with your eco-friendly moving day.
Now you are ready to make your next move an eco-friendly moving experience. If you have your own eco-friendly moving tips to share, please add them below. We want to hear all about them.