Green Moving Tips
In every area of our daily lives, we all should strive to reduce our impact on the environment. The same is true for major undertakings and events like making a household move. How can you make your move green and relocate in an environmentally conscious way? Here are two general areas to focus on for an ecofriendly move.
Reduce the load. The less you move the better. You’ll need fewer packing materials and you’ll have less transportation impact. Resist the temptation to “move it all and go through it later.” In the weeks and months before the move, go through your closets and storage areas.
- Donate the reusable items to nonprofit groups in your area. Keep an inventory of what you donate so you can justify your charitable giving deduction on your next income tax return
- Give away items to family members, especially young people just getting started in a new home—you can’t deduct this as a donation but you’ll earn their gratitude!
- Recycle anything that can be—for example, boxes, paper, and certain plastic containers.
Choose the right packing materials. There are tradeoffs here. When it comes to packing materials packing household items, remember that an efficient and safe move calls for sturdy and stackable containers. While it may be tempting to scrounge used boxes from the local grocery store, these usually are neither sturdy nor will they be stackable since they will come in all sizes and shapes. It’s best to move using standard-sized moving cartons that are specially designed to protect contents. Be sure to recycle these after they’ve been unpacked.
Reusable plastic containers are another option. As with cardboard boxes, it’s best if these are all in several standard sizes, rather than a broad assortment of shapes. Additionally, these can be reused for waterproof and insect-proof long-term storage in your new location.
“Packing peanuts” can be critical to protecting fragile items, but instead of the standard polystyrene products, sparingly use green peanuts and plastic wrap made of made of bioplastics.
Last, make your new location eco-friendly by switching to CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting. If you’re getting new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR rating.