Moving can be stressful, and if you are environmentally conscious, it can give you one more thing to worry about. There are alternatives to help make your move easier on the earth. Here are five eco-friendly moving supplies you can incorporate into your packing and move.
1. Recycled Boxes
Instead of using new cardboard boxes, find some used boxes, and use them again. Recycling boxes means they do not end up in the landfills, and when you are done with your move, you can recycle the boxes to another family or if your community has a paper recycling program, give them the worn-out ones. To find gently used moving boxes, scan your local online classified, or take out a free add yourself, and let people know you are looking for supplies. You may be surprised how many are available. If you need to buy some new ones, look for cardboard made from recycled material.
2. Reusable Plastic Totes
Many moving companies rent plastic totes. They are another alternative to cardboard, and the movers rent them repeatedly before disposing of them. There are generally two styles of totes. One type has attached lids hinged to the sides. These totes are not watertight, so use caution if you are going to be moving in the rain. The other type of tote comes with detached lids. The lids fit snuggly over the top. Both styles stack neatly on top of each other.
3. Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
Packing peanuts used to be made of plastic that would take a very long time to breakdown. Today manufacturers make packing material made from cornstarch instead of Styrofoam. Cornstarch is a plant-based material that begins to lose its molecular structure when water hits it. It dissolves back into a cornstarch base. Before destroying the peanuts, see if another mover can use them again.
4. Towels, Sheets, and Linens
Instead of buying and using bubble wrap, use what you are already bringing. Pack dishes in washcloths and dishtowels, and stuff and wrap pillowcases around glassware. If you are moving any glass tabletops, mirrors, or framed artwork, protect the items with bedding. Use towels to pad the inside of containers and keep things from shifting around during the move.
5. Use an Electric Vehicle
If you are renting a moving van, see if you can find a company that offers electric vehicle. The US Department of Energy recommends going electric whenever practical because of the benefits to the environment. Electric motors do not add harmful emissions to the air and reduce the need for fossil fuel mining. Hybrid motors are still easier on the air and earth versus gas or diesel engines.
There are many ways to keep your move as green as possible, and some of the methods will even save you money. Don’t buy unnecessary packing wrap if you can use your own items. Reuse other mover’s boxes or opt for plastic tubs, and if possible, use an electric or hybrid moving vehicle. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be spending less on gas.