Sustainable Moving: Eco-Friendly Packing for a Greener Tomorrow
Packing up and making the move from one home to another can be a stressful experience, and while most people automatically think about how they can make moving less inconvenient for themselves, few people take the time to consider how moving impacts the environment.
Indeed, moving (be it to a new house or new office) produces an average of 17 to 18 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per move.This is no trifling matter, especially when paired with the fact that since 2017, somewhere between 25 million and 35 million people move to a new house every year in the United States alone (not including office moves). That’s a whole lot of CO2.
But the environmental impact of moving is not limited to carbon dioxide emissions. We must also consider the impact of physical waste: the use of plastics in bubble-wrapping precious housewares, the cardboard boxes that will most likely be tossed after only one use, and so much more. Our property managers have seen their fair share of moves and keep an eye towards eco-friendly business practices. Here are some ways you can reduce the environmental impact of moving and adopt savvy sustainability practices for your next move.
The jig is totally up on plastics. We all know that plastics can have a devastating environmental impact. Most plastics will not be recycled, and will end up pollution our oceans for millions of years to come. Lots of people think that using plastics during a move is inevitable, but there are ways around it! For example, when wrapping precious or fragile home goods, opt for newspaper or, even better, use clothing and linens, instead of plastic bubble wrap. And instead of loading every blanket, towel and t-shirt in your house into plastic garbage bags, consider using reusable grocery bags or alternative containers that you already own, or that you can use for storage in the future.
- Packing material
Packing materials (like the bubble-wrap mentioned above) are often produced, sold and used without the environment in mind. Packing peanuts, to use one example, are typically made from styrofoam, which can take 500 years or more to decompose in the environment. Instead of using packing peanuts or bubble-wrap, you can follow the tips mentioned above, or you can consider purchasing material from a company that specializes in sustainable packing material. It might cost a little extra to purchase biodegradable, recyclable and compostable materials, but it is absolutely worth it!
Unless you have a stash of dozens of hard storage bins, odds are you will be using cardboard boxes for your moves. While cardboard itself is not as harmful to the environment as plastic or styrofoam, it can be wasteful when it is used and discarded carelessly. Cardboard boxes should always be recycled. However, if you really want to take sustainability to the next level, consider breaking down the boxes after you have unpacked and stowing them away for another future move. Additionally, instead of purchasing new cardboard boxes from the store, you can try asking friends for any extra boxes they might have, or using tools like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to find someone in your area who is trying to get some boxes off their hands.
You know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. When you move, you will most likely end up doing a little purging of unwanted possessions in the process. Instead of throwing everything away for the sake of ease, take the time to sort through your unwanted items and determine what can be donated to a local organization or thrift store. This way, it can be reused by another family rather than dumped in a landfill. This is also true for food waste– if you don’t want to take canned goods with you, fine, just don’t throw them away if they aren’t bad. Donate, give them away to friends, or host a yard-sale instead.
Finally, let’s talk about gas. Unless you’re moving into the house next door, you’ll probably be using a vehicle to move to your next home. Some people would rather make 10 trips in a pickup truck or SUV instead of paying the money to rent a large moving truck, but doing so can be incredibly damaging to the environment due to gasoline emissions. For the sake of the environment, try to limit the trips you make to and from to as few trips as possible. If you can, the best option would be to rent a moving truck and move everything from one place to the other in just one trip.
So there you have it! By following the tips above, you can rest assured that the environmental impact of your next move will be as small as possible.