Each year, movers in the US consume the equivalent of 28.5 million trees, 132.7 million gallons of oil, and 11.7 billion gallons of water! With the current state of our environmental crisis, these numbers are alarming, and it’s important for us all to do our part in changing them.
Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint during upcoming move. Here are 6 tips to get you started:
1. Donate/ Recycle Old Clothes
Be honest. How many pieces of clothes do you have hanging in your closet that you haven’t worn in three years? We all do, and moving is the perfect time to get rid of them while simultaneously making a difference in the world. Instead of throwing away your clothes and letting them become waste in a landfill, donate them to one of these organizations:
Madre.org — a grassroots organization that helps women around the globe.
Big Brother Big Sister Foundation — helps children in the New England area by providing them with adult mentors that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Brides Across America — gives free wedding dresses to women who’s loved ones are serving in the armed forces.
Soles 4 Souls — provides footwear for those who can’t afford it.
Goodwill — pretty universal, there’s probably one near your home!
**Side note: Many of these organizations take furniture donations as well. If you have an old sofa or table that you don’t plan on using in your new home, schedule a donation pick-up; it’s free!
The average move requires approximately 60 cardboard boxes, aka more than half of a one-ton pine tree! Instead of buying new ones and perpetuating the cycle, grab some used boxes from grocery stores, Craigslist or sites like UsedCardboardBoxes.
In the event that you already bought cardboard boxes before reading this, it’s okay. We understand. Just make sure they find the recycling bin when you’re done with them OR extend their life by creating an ad for them on Craigslist. Maybe you can even get a little money for them to make up for that costly move ;). A good quality cardboard box can typically be reused up to ten times.
3. Packing Supplies
There are green alternatives to almost everything you’ll need for the move, including bubble wrap, packing peanuts, foam wrap, edge protectors, bags and more. Uline.com has a wide selection of supplies made from environmentally friendly materials.
Don’t want to spend the money for these supplies? Get creative with it! Towels, blankets, and clothes are great substitutes to bubble wrap and moving pads!
Several moving companies nationwide have shifted to bio-diesel fuel to be more environmentally friendly. Eko Movers, for instance, goes above and beyond and pledges to plant a tree for every move they complete!
You can also use services like MovingPlace: carpool-like moving services where you share space on a large truck with others moving cross-country.
Let’s be real…cleaning sucks. But at least nowadays you can feel good about yourself while doing it. Eco-friendly cleaning products are all over the place these days. Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, BioKleen and Shaklee are all high-quality brands you can try. If you’re busy and have the cash to spare, you can also hire the services of a green cleaning service such as Ms. Green-Clean or Eco Green Home.
6. Build Good Habits In Your New Home
A lot of people view moving as a fresh start. And why not use that fresh start to turn over a new leaf and start protecting the environment. Here are plenty of options:
New home closer to work? Fun fact: the #1 reason people move in the United States is to make their commute easier. Maybe you can walk or bike on your commute instead of driving. Get your exercise in and support the planet at the same time!
Switch to paperless banking.
Continue using green cleaning products whenever possible.
Use eco-friendly paper products. There are greener alternatives to paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, and anything else you can think of.
Use more energy efficient CFL or LED lightbulbs.
Get reusable paper bags for when you shop. The majority of grocery stores offer them for a cheap price where you check out. Lots of stores even offer them for free nowadays. Save up!
Solar panels. Limit your gas and electricity use by installing solar panels in your new home. If you plan on staying for a while, they may even be cheaper in the long run!
Install eco-friendly plumbing parts.
We want to wish you the best of luck with wherever your move may take you, and thanks for wanting to do your part in helping save our planet!
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