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Eco-Friendly Moving Tips

Published by Chris Townsend

Eco-Friendly Moving Tips

Our planet is struggling, and have a duty to try and help it. That’s why a lot of us, including the people at Three Movers, make an effort to try and minimize the ecologic impact of our actions. But truth be told, that’s hard to do when it comes to moving.

You might be thinking, how can I make my move as green as possible when I have to use a lot of packing materials and rent a truck? Well, there’s couple tricks you can try. Today, we’ll share with you some tips to make your move eco-friendlier.

12 Tips to Make Your Move More Environmentally Friendly

1. Try to limit the amount of trips you have to do

With your move, reduce the number of trips you have to do as much as you can. Skip the short excursions to and from your new home and concentrate on having your movers ship all of your belongings on moving day. If you want to perform any of the relocation yourself, try to fit as much as you can into your vehicle or van as quickly as possible. It is preferable to make as few journeys as possible throughout your relocation.

2. Rent Reusable Moving Boxes

A lot of companies provide reusable plastic box rental services. But isn't plastic bad for the environment, you might wonder? In this situation, most businesses utilize recyclable plastic boxes that may be reused several times, decreasing landfill waste from single-use boxes.

These services, including BungoBox, Frogbox, and U-Ready-To-Go Haul's boxes deliver to your old house and pick up from your new one after you're done, as an alternative to buying cardboard boxes.

3. Buy Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable Supplies

Moving is difficult enough in and of itself, let's face it. Taking even one step to make the process more sustainable, on the other hand, makes a significant impact. I had to buy new cardboard boxes despite using some second-hand boxes. Is there any hope? There was no need for tape because they were foldable boxes.

Traditional packaging supplies have a number of sustainable alternatives. Check out the biodegradable packing peanuts available at U-Haul and local merchants such as Walmart, which are produced from potato starch and cornstarch rather than Styrofoam.

You'll almost certainly need some boxes for your relocation, but you may drastically reduce the overall number by packing your belongings in containers you already own. Suitcases, plastic bins, dresser drawers, gym bags, and duffel bags are just a few examples, as well as grocery containers that could be reused.

If you have a container that can hold more than one item, fill it up before packing it. Use a fresh rubbish bag to line your little bathroom trash bin and keep objects from under your sink, for example. The more you can fit into existing containers, the less you'll have to rely on purchased moving boxes.

4. Ask Your Local Stores for Leftover Boxes

It's worth going by your local store to check what boxes they have on hand to assist recycle cardboard, plus, most companies would gladly give them out for free. You can obtain a couple of boxes for free from the liquor store across the street, a book store, or a supermarket.

5. Wrap Fragile Items in Clothes and Linens

This tactic is as ancient as time, but believe us when we say that it always works. Bubble wrap can be replaced by wrapping spoon rests, porcelain dishes, and breakables in garments or linens. Some of my wine glasses were even wrapped in thick winter socks and delivered to my home unharmed. Before buying single-use goods, cushion fragile objects with what you already have, whether it's towels, blankets, or clothing.

6. Donate or Recycle What You Don’t Need

If you're planning to dispose of old electronics or batteries, keep in mind that e-waste is extremely harmful to the environment. Earth911 is a service that locates the closest recycling facility based on the type of battery you need to dispose of. You may also take your old phones, chargers, and other electronics to your local Best Buy (or other large-format electronic retailers) and have them recycled on your behalf.

Sift through your clothing, kitchen things, and furnishings and form heaps or collections of what you don't need before you start packing. Look for local businesses like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace to help you sell furniture or household items. Is there another option? Give them to someone else. My enormous dresser had to be crammed into the back of a friend's automobile. Was it simple? Certainly not, but it felt wonderful to know that my belongings were being put to good use. Donate garments to homeless shelters, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army if they're in good, useable shape.

7. Store boxes you receive throughout the year

Online shopping isn't the most ecologically friendly way to get what you need, but it's such a common aspect of contemporary life that the packaging your things arrive in should have a dual purpose. If you know you'll be moving soon, or if you just move a lot, start saving the boxes you get when you purchase products online to utilize later. Break them down and put them somewhere out of sight and mind, such as your garage, cellar, or even beneath your bed, until you're ready to use them again.

8. Pack Loose Items in Totes and Containers

When it comes to packing, look outside the box—try to use containers you already have before buying moving items. When I moved, I piled things into storage boxes and stored my leftover culinary spices in Tupperware. I utilized tote bags or cosmetic bags for knickknacks and toiletries (I usually have more than I need). Of course, you'll have to use plastic baggies at some point, but for multi-use, try reusable Ziplocs or space bags. Also, don't forget to reuse them.

9. Get creative with packing materials

Other packing materials, such as the materials you use to wrap your things for safe transit, are not as easily recycled as cardboard boxes. While such items may be recycled at designated collection places, many individuals forget to do so and wind up discarding a large portion of their packing materials into the garbage.

Start with what you currently have before purchasing items that are difficult to properly dispose of. Towels, linens, blankets, and even clothing may be used to carefully wrap goods for packing. Start with newspaper, which you can recycle in your regular recycling container if you need more. If you do need to use plastic packaging materials, utilize a site like Recycle Finder to figure out where you can recycle them.

10. Pack the Kitchen Last

Because the kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms to pack, it's no surprise that many movers start there. However, once you've put away all of your dishes and cutlery, you'll have to rely on plastic plates, cups, and utensils to get by. Instead, put just enough kitchen goods out to get you through the moving process so you don't have to rely on non-sustainable resources for your meals.

11. If you need more boxes, get them used

Only buy brand new moving boxes as a last resort while moving green, and attempt to collect old boxes from other areas first. To check if anybody has spare boxes, contact friends, family members, and local supermarket and retail businesses, as well as post a general message on your social media profiles. If that doesn't work, look on Craigslist and Freecycle to see if anybody in your neighborhood is giving away free moving boxes, or go to a site like UsedCarboardBoxes.com to get boxes that have been rejected by manufacturers due to faults. You should be able to get exactly what you need with enough outreach.

12. Hire a green moving company

Hiring a moving company dedicated to eco-friendly procedures is one of the greatest ways to reduce your move's environmental effect. A green moving company will utilize biodiesel-fueled vehicles instead of standard gas, and will also assist you put up reusable moving boxes so you don't have to worry about using cardboard boxes. Through our moving business database, you may find reliable movers who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Final Thoughts

Going green is a commendable goal, but it isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to complicated and exhausting process like a move. However, there’s a lot that you can do to make your move more environmentally friendly without making things significantly harder on yourself. Thinking about the supplies you use, using as much reusable packing materials as possible, and checking that your mover is doing their part to keep your move green are great steps to take in this process.

If you want to know more about Three Movers’s efforts to make our moves as green as possible, within our means, then contact us today and we will be happy to discuss that with you.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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