Moving is a time when we end up cleaning out those overloaded closets, basements and garages. We can throw away those old clothes, electronics, magazines, bikes, outdated ballet slippers, etc.
Let’s face it: travel time equals dump time.
In addition to major weeding of our goods, we use loads of packaging material and create heaps and heaps of trash that contribute to our landfills. But did you know you can take a green step?
Going green means being aware of the environment and using methods that are not harmful to the earth. To paraphrase Kermit the Frog, “Sometimes it’s actually easy to be green.”
There are simple steps you can take on a move to reduce your waste. Being eco-conscious on moving day will also save you some green in your wallet! Follow these four steps to make Mother Nature proud:
1. Use environmentally friendly moving supplies
From boxes to bubble wrap, there are now green and 100% recyclable materials to keep our neighborhoods cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Yes, there is even biodegradable bubble wrap so you can get out guilt-free.
Eco-bonus: Save money by asking your mover for used cardboard boxes made from recyclable materials. You can get used boxes at a discount and some moving companies will even reimburse you for returning your used boxes at the end of your move. Cha Ching!
2. Give back
Finally, the garage and cupboards are being cleaned. Hooray! Now is the time to get rid of what you don’t really need.
Things like the growing collection of tuna and soup cans in the pantry, the many sports team t-shirts, or your 10-year-old’s toddler clothes; etc.
Don’t just throw them away. Donate unwanted furniture, clothing and household items to your favorite local charity, like Goodwill, for someone else to benefit. If you have any canned goods you don’t want to move, consider donating to a local food bank or organization like Get moving for hunger. Don’t forget to keep your moving and donation receipts to save money on your taxes next year!
3. Be nice to your electronics
You might not want your old microwave, but don’t throw it away. If you do, it probably won’t be recycled under US environmental regulations.
Contact a household electronic waste recycler to have your old computers, microwave ovens, etc. are recycled domestically, under strict environmental laws, rather than being shipped for treatment by highly toxic and polluting techniques.
4. Hire an eco-conscious moving company
Use your “green” to influence and encourage green habits by hiring companies that use environmentally friendly practices.
Make sure your moving company is environmentally conscious by asking:
- Do staff recycle?
- Are their office and warehouse designed to be energy efficient?
- Do they use biodiesel to run their trucks?
- Do they use 100% recyclable materials?
- Do they sell used boxes?
- Do they buy them back at the end of the move?
Pat yourself on the back; you make Mother Earth smile and future generations will thank you!
Laura McHolm is an organization, moving and storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A +” rated company specializing in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.
Subscribe to Zing! Blog
Want to impress your friends and family with the knowledge we are going to pass on to you?
If so, sign up now to get Home, Money, and Life Tips delivered straight to your inbox.