Just as with any other human activity, the choices we make when faced with the task of moving house can expand or shrink our use footprint on earth. And, as in other areas, a little careful thought in advance can ensure that our impact on limited earth resources is minimal. A time in transition can be stressful, but eco-friendly choices abound as we work to change living quarters. Many of these ideas fix around the old maxim, "waste not, want not," and can actually allow your move to be less stressful. We spoke with Kenwood Moving based in Montreal (who do everything from local moves to overseas so a great expert to gain knowledge from) about some ideas for more eco-friendly moving let’s look at some top choices to help you get moved.
1. Move less stuff!
Deciding to simply live with fewer possessions is easier said than done for many of us, but it can be a valuable way to simplify your life, and certainly makes moving easier. Make a point of getting rid of a decent amount of your stuff when you move, but don't just throw it away. Make use of local resources for doing good with your extra stuff, or at least making sure it doesn't go to waste. Good starting points for this process are Goodwill and the Salvation Army, as well as other non-profit organizations, like local charities or your local Freecycle mailing list.
2. Pack Carefully!
This may go without saying, but careful packing leads to less breakage and less irritation... an unbroken item doesn't need to be replaced. By utilizing box space in an efficient manner, you also minimize the need for fewer trips in transit or the need for a larger moving vehicle.
3. Find Boxes!
Rather than pay for a packing box, why not locate one which has only seen limited use and is slated to be discarded by a company? You'll save money; the company saves the hassle and/or the expense of having the box hauled away; and the landfill is spared extra rubbish. Now multiply these savings by the number of boxes you're able to reuse, and the green starts to shine through. When you've completed your move, remember to reuse or recycle these boxes.
4. Choose better transportation!
Moving inevitably requires one or more trips in vehicles, particularly large trucks which use fossil fuels and pollute the air. Find a moving company that uses hybrid or bio-diesel vehicles to move your stuff. And pick the right sized truck for your use.
5. Avoid chemical cleaners!
Whether you're tidying the apartment you're leaving or scrubbing down the new abode, chances are you'll use a lot of cleaning supplies during your move. Choose green cleaners (see this great eco cleaning guide) and reusable supplies, like cloth rags. Green cleaners are plant-based and free of toxic chemicals, which makes them safer for the environment and for you!
6. Be organized!
Most waste while moving happens when you haven't planned well. We all know moving is tiresome and stressful, but staying organized will make the process easier for you and kinder for the planet. Pack well, and avoid the last-minute rush to toss stuff into boxes. Proper packing also generally means a smaller moving vehicle is needed, and means less waste and frustration as you prepare for moving and as you settle into your new home.
7. Eat Up!
In the weeks and days leading up to your move, make an effort to enjoy the food you already have on hand. In a nutshell, don't move food which could easily be worked into your menu.