Nearly three-quarters of Australians say they’re committed to living a greener life. They take reusable bags to the supermarket and separate their recyclables, but they aren’t sure how to behave sustainably when they move house. However, it is possible to move without it taking a toll on the planet. Remember these tips to minimise your carbon footprint when you move house.
Reduce the Amount You’re Taking
Moving will always require a truck pumping pollutants into the atmosphere. However, you can minimise the amount of damage it will do by reducing the amount of items you’ll take.
It makes sense when you think about it. Small vehicles typically have good fuel economy, while larger ones get less kilometres per litre. So if you can fit your stuff into a smaller truck, it’s not going to be as harmful to the planet. You also have the bonus of moving into a new place without your old clutter! Plan a garage sale a couple of weeks before you leave and donate anything that doesn’t go to St. Vinnies or the Salvos.
Go Green with Boxes
The average move uses 60 cardboard boxes, which is the equivalent of a half-ton tree. If you move 11 times in your life, as the average person does, that’s a total of 660 boxes or 5.5 tons of timber. When you consider the cumulative effect, you’ll want to steer clear of brand new boxes when you move if at all possible!
Ask your friends and family members if they have any large boxes lying around. Many people store boxes from whitegoods and previous moves in their garages, and they may be happy to have you take them off their hands. If you don’t have enough boxes, try hitting up your local shopping centres. Supermarkets and other large retailers often have plenty of boxes which haven’t yet been compacted. Ask at the information desk if you can take some home.
If you still haven’t collected enough boxes, see whether your movers have rental boxes available. Removalist companies like Chess Moving offer moving crate hire to minimise the impact on the planet. These plastic crates can be reused a number of times, so they’re a really smart alternative to cardboard boxes.
Protect Possessions the Eco-Friendly Way
Traditional packing materials like packing peanuts and bubble wraps aren't terribly eco-friendly. Thankfully, you’ve got much greener alternatives lying around your home.
Your linen cupboard is a great source for greener packing materials. Your bath towels, sheets, face washers, and bath mats can all protect the items you’re packing. Just wrap them around glasses, vases, and crockery and you can rest easy knowing that your items will arrive safely at their destination. Once you’ve raided your linen cupboard, you can start using your clothes. Packing this way isn’t just protective; it also helps you to reduce space.
If you don’t have quite enough materials at home, then old newspaper will work almost as well. It’s a good idea to save your locally delivered newspapers over a few weeks or even months' time before your move so there’s plenty of paper to go round.
Recycle Unwanted Items
Moving house is inevitably a time when you start purging the clutter you’ve accumulated. Don’t just put it all in the regular garbage bin though. You can recycle much more than you might think. While you can only put plastics, paper, and cans in your regular recycling bin, a range of other goods can be recycled at your local Officeworks store.
Participating stores will accept old computers and computer accessories, ink and toner cartridges, mobile phones, and batteries.
Moving house isn’t just about packing and unpacking boxes. It’s also about cleaning as you leave your old property presentable for the new owners and make your new digs spotless. There are so many great green cleaning products on the market, including sprays from EcoStore and Earth Choice. These eco-friendly products contain natural ingredients rather than nasty chemicals, so they're are much better for the planet and your health. Use them with biodegradable or reusable cloths which are much more sustainable than traditional disposable cleaning cloths.
See Whether You Can Go Paperless When Changing Contact Details
You’re likely to spend a lot of time updating your contact details before and after your move. This is a great time to discover how many of the companies you deal with have gone paperless. Many firms now offer bills and newsletters via email to cut down on paper and their carbon footprint. Enquire about this option whenever you notify a business of your new details.
As these tips show, it’s easy to make moving house eco-friendly.