A fresh start, new perspectives, brand-new opportunities, a high-paying job, a nicer home, or simply a change of scenery when life starts to feel stale… Truly, the positives of moving to a new place are plenty. But just like every other thing in life, it also has its fair share of downsides. Of course, it’s a massive step that’ll turn your entire life upside down for a while – not to mention the cost and hassle. But there’s one other thing we easily overlook: moving a house can wreak havoc on the environment. It doesn’t have to, though. In fact, it can be a fantastic opportunity for you to re-think your footprint and put some environmentally friendly measures in place – not only for the duration of your move but after, as well. All it takes is a little bit of planning. We give you seven tips for a zero-waste move.
1. Go through items
Moving items to your new home only to decide you no longer need them is a huge waste of time, energy, money, supplies, and fuel. Plus, your to-do list is likely already crammed as it is. So, you don’t really need the added hassle of offloading gazillion boxes on your moving day. Why not take this opportunity to create an inventory of your belongings and ditch some of them? Get rid of unnecessary duplicates, décor, and furniture pieces that don’t go well with or fit in your new digs, clothes, tools, and all other items you don’t use or need. Basically, everything that no longer serves its purpose. The fewer things you have to pack and move, the fewer supplies you will need and, possibly, the smaller the moving truck. You can sell, donate, or recycle all unwanted belongings before the move.
2. Buy or rent plastic moving bins
For a zero-waste relocation, skip the cardboard moving boxes and go for their plastic alternative instead. Unlike cardboard boxes, plastic moving crates are rugged and durable. Built tough and built to last, they might be used hundreds, if not thousands, of times before you finally recycle them. Even after your move is over, there’ll be tons of other options for getting utility out of them. And finally, upon reaching the end of their lifespan, plastic crates can simply be melted down and used to produce the next generation of sustainable moving boxes. If you don’t want to purchase them, there’s always the option of renting them for the duration of your relocation and returning them after.
3. Use sustainable packing supplies
Are you one of those people who get that anxious pit in their stomach just thinking about tossing away yards and yards of duct tape and bubble wrap? Lucky for you, a budding market for environmentally friendly packing supplies exists. Products like biodegradable packaging peanuts, recycled cardboard, packing paper, corrugated bubble wrap, mushroom packaging, cornstarch packaging, etc., cause less harm to humans and the environment when compared to their alternatives. Of course, if you are using plastic bins, packing tape is redundant anyway!
4. Use what you have
Here’s another fantastic trick for a zero-waste move! Instead of buying moving boxes, get creative when packing and use whatever you have around your house. For instance, baskets, crates, chests, pillowcases, duffle bags, backpacks, and suitcases can all be used to box up your belongings. As for packing materials, you can use fabric and paper of just about any kind:
- grocery store paper bags you’ve collected
- cloth bags
- old newspapers
- bath towels
These items are perfect for buffering things from damage during your relocation. You can use them to cushion tableware and kitchenware and wrap any fragile items you’re moving. Taking advantage of items you already have around the house is a great way to reduce waste. Not to mention, cut down on bulk in your moving van or truck.
5. Choose a green moving company
Consumer preferences for eco-friendly practices have skyrocketed, and many moving companies have taken note. As a result, we now have a long list of moving companies focusing on minimizing your footprint as much as possible. Unless you are thinking of rolling each crate and furniture piece on a dolly to your new place, you will need some kind of transportation. And this is key for planning a zero-waste move.
6. Start early and stay organized
Moving is hectic. Long checklists, physically demanding jobs, and all that frenzied running around, rushing to finish all those in-between tasks like taking Fido to the veterinarian for a checkup and such. That’s why planning is key to staying organized and making it a zero-waste process. By starting early, you’d avoid repurchasing supplies you have already bought, forgetting something, and unnecessarily going back and forth between homes. This is particularly true if you’re moving long distance to/from Chicago and looking for movers. It’s best to book as soon as you have most of the details figured out. Once you team up with the pros, you’re good to go. You can create a clear schedule that allows you to focus on getting everything done before the moving day.
7. Leave no trace
Be careful not to leave any items or waste behind. If you do, the chances are very high that they won’t be disposed of properly. What is more, if you’ve been living in a rental apartment, you may even get a fee from the proprietor or the new tenants who have to deal with your litter. For this reason, you must give yourself some time to do a walk-through and clean things up a little bit post-move.
Moving is a huge endeavor. And, for those who aren’t careful, it can be a huge source of waste. Whether your goal is to go low-waste or completely zero-waste with your relocation, there are several ways to minimize your negative impact on the environment and a ton of great reasons for doing so. Box Beaters has you covered! With our sturdy reusable plastic moving bins and a useful list of small-but-valuable swaps, a smooth, cost-efficient, and zero-waste move is possible! So, visit our website to learn more about our services and packing supplies!