3 Ways To Make Your Next Move Eco-Friendly

There are a lot of things to think about when you're moving house. Packing, shipping, transportation, selling your old home and buying or renting a new one – all of those things are likely to consume a lot of your time and energy. However, it's important to take a little time to consider how you can make your move a little more environmentally friendly. Moving takes up a lot of resources, and anything that you can do to reduce your impact on the environment is helpful. Take a look at how you can make your next move green and environmentally friendly.

Cut Out the Cardboard

The cardboard box is practically a universal symbol of moving. It's easy to understand why – cardboard boxes are inexpensive, easy to come by, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are easy to dispose of when you're done with them. But have you ever thought about the impact all of those boxes have on the environment? The average household move requires about 60 boxes. It takes more than half of a one ton pine tree to make that many cardboard boxes.

At a minimum, you should choose boxes made of recycled material and be sure to recycle them yourself when you're done with them. But you may want to consider using boxes made of recycled plastic instead. Rather than being useful for just one move, hard plastic boxes and bins can be reused over and over again. They actually protect your fragile items and household goods better than cardboard boxes do, because they aren't likely to be dented or crushed in transit. Plastic bins can make useful storage containers in your new home as well – but if you don't want to buy and keep them, many moving and packing companies offer plastic bins to rent. You can simply return them when you're done unpacking.

Pick Green Packing Material

What about the rest of your packing supplies? You can always purchase green packing peanuts made of corn starch or grain sorghum instead of polystyrene. In addition to being biodegradable, these green peanuts are nontoxic – they won't hurt your pet or child if they accidentally bite into one. Additionally, they carry no electrostatic charge, so they won't stick to your clothes or potentially damage your electronics. Green, biodegradable bubble wrap is also available.

However, one of the cheapest and greenest ways to pack your things is to just use what you have on hand. You have to pack your towels, blankets, sheets, and sweatshirts anyway – why not put all of that fabric to good use by using it to wrap and cushion fragile items? You'll save money and resources at the same time.

Use Green Movers

There's nothing wrong with hiring moving help if you need it, but make sure that the moving company you choose shares your commitment to eco-friendly moving. In some big cities, you may have the option of using bicycle-based movers if you're only moving a short distance away. Bike movers attach special trailers to their bicycles that allow them to haul large loads. Not only is this a very green way of moving, it may actually be less expensive than paying the fuel costs for a big truck.

If bike movers aren't an option, look for a company that has a robust environmental policy and uses recycled and renewable packing materials where possible. Some moving companies even use trucks that run on biodiesel fuel, a cleaner alternative to petroleum. If you decide to rent a truck and drive yourself, make sure that you get one that's big enough to hold everything that you're moving. It's far more efficient to rent a large truck and make one trip than it is to rent a smaller truck and make several trips back and forth.

Green living is usually a matter of making small changes that add up to a much larger effect, and green moving is no exception. It's not hard to switch out your cardboard boxes for plastic bins or to choose green packing peanuts instead of the usual foam ones. But those small changes add up, and the effect is a cleaner, greener move. For more information about moving, contact a company like Wheaton World Wide Moving.