Woman with a Recycling Box

Being green means being aware of the environment and using methods that are sustainable. With extra planning and preparation, you can save cost on your move as well as have a lighter impact on the environment. There are no specific rules or regulations to being eco-friendly, but here are a few suggestions to help you move with a greener approach.

Try Reusable Containers

You don’t have to use cardboard boxes to pack and move your stuff.  Now you can rent reusable plastic containers – and may actually save money rather than buying cardboard. Most of these container rental companies will even deliver the boxes to your home or office and pick them up after you’re done.

The downside to using reusable boxes is that you can’t leisurely unpack over the course of a month. Since the boxes need to be returned you’ll need to pack, move and get unpacked quickly (usually about a week), or else you’ll need to pay to rent them longer.

Reusable containers are a great option for those who don’t already have boxes they can use one hand, and won’t create additional garbage that could end up in a landfill. You also don’t have to go to the trouble of breaking them down and getting rid of them.

Find Used Boxes or Crates

You don’t need brand new boxes or crates to pack your belongings for a move. While it’s important you use boxes that are still in good condition to protect your stuff, an old box can usually do just as good a job as a new one.

If you have friends or family who has recently moved see if they have any boxes in good working order that you could take off their hands. Reusing boxes reduces waste and saves money.

You can also check with local businesses like retail and liquor stores for their leftover boxes. These businesses get frequent product shipments and the boxes for these are often simply broken down and thrown right in the trash or recycling. Most companies would be happy to set aside the boxes for you to swing by and pick up for free rather than dispose of.

Recycled Materials

Properly packing and securing your fragile dishware or much-loved family heirlooms can be one of the most challenging parts of moving. Typical packing materials used are styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap, even if you reuse them a few times yourself ultimately these materials will always end up in a landfill.

Try using newspapers to wrap dishes, these can be easily recycled after your move. You can also use clothing you own to wrap fragile items. Fabric provides additional cushion compared to paper and you don’t have to get rid of it when you’re done. But don’t use your favorite or most delicate clothing to avoid getting snags in your favorite sweater.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

It’s common when moving into a new home to want to redecorate – finding just the right items for your new space and creating a fresh look. Most likely the majority of your current furniture and decorations are still in good working order and simply need a new home themselves.

Rather than renting a dumpster or paying by the pound to drop stuff off at the dump, sell or donate those items. Moving sales are a great way to make a little extra cash to help cover moving expenses or to buy the new dining room set you want. It’s also a great way to get other people to come pick up your large items and get them out of your way.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of cleaning, organizing and managing a sale at your home you can simply donate those items instead. Goodwill and The Salvation Army often have multiple donation stations in a city, making it convenient to drop off a car load on your way to work. But don’t feel limited to these two options, there are dozens of national associations who’d love to take your old household items.

Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Moving often includes a lot of cleaning. Moving furniture can reveal long ignored corners where dirt and grime have accumulated for too long. This means you need to do a good amount of cleaning once you’ve packed everything up and moved it out. While you can hire a cleaning service to do this, it can get a bit spendy. Many professional cleaning companies even provide you the option to have them use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, but this often costs even more.

If you want to save that money and clean it yourself you can easily get your own green cleaning products to use. You can even go a step further and make your own cleaning products from household items such as baking soda, white vinegar, and cornstarch.

Priority Moving supports green moving practices, so when you’re ready to schedule your next move consider us your partner in sustainable moving!