Staying Green While Moving

Posted on November 22, 2011 by Courtney

Please welcome today’s guest poster, Ashley.

Moving is typically synonymous with filling several dumpsters worth of things you don’t want to take with you and sending it all to a landfill — but it doesn’t have to be.

Instead of renting a dumpster in anticipation for your move, consider ways to stay environmentally friendly during the process. There are plenty of things you can do to cut down on waste and stay green while moving. 

Sustainable Packing Materials

Instead of springing for the standard packing peanuts and one-use boxes, take a little extra time to find more sustainable packing products. Many moving major moving companies, like Allied, offer packing crates that not only eliminate waste, but also provide more stability than a cardboard box.

You can also try to track down cardboard boxes that have already been used and that you could pass on to someone else. Compostable packing peanuts are also available, or you could also use newspaper and recycle it after the move.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose

We’re all familiar with the “Reduce, Reuse Recycle” slogan, but many people don’t realize that they can repurpose many of the items they already have. Instead of packing peanuts, you can use towels or clothes to keep fragile items safe. You can ask friends who just moved if they still have boxes, ask local stores or check rental truck establishments to see if they have any resources. Plastic bins are better to use than cardboard boxes because they are much more sturdy, easily stored, and can be used for years longer. When you arrive in your new location, find out about where to recycle any boxes or packaging you used during the move.

Sell or Donate

Instead of throwing away items you don’t need or don’t want to move, consider having a yard sale or donating large items to local charities and thrift stores. Many charities like Amvets will send a van to your home to pick up items like furniture or appliances. You can even ask friends or family if they are in need of whatever belongings you don’t want to move.

Eco-Friendly Cleaners

Moving requires a lot of cleaning, which can result in a lot of waste and extended use of harsh cleaners. Find companies like Seventh Generation that create eco-friendly cleaning products that you can use for your entire move and in the new home as well. Use towels instead of paper towels, or use paper products made of recycled materials if necessary. Buy enough cleaners to take care of moving out of your old place and into the new!

With these few tips, you can stay green during your upcoming move. Only throw away items that are unsalvageable and try your best to use sustainable products. Moving doesn’t have to be wasteful or tough on the environment when done right!

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Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

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