For most new home-owners, moving sustainably is not exactly a top concern. Moving is tough; you have a lot to do with barely enough time to get it all done. Standard practices of packing and moving have traditionally involved a slew of eco-unfriendly purchases. According to the EPA, paper and cardboard were the greatest amount of municipal solid waste in 2017, while 69.9 percent of plastic containers and packaging in the same period were landfilled. Maybe you're asking yourself, how can I make my move more sustainable?
At Imlach, we value sustainable moving and want to give you a few helpful tips to keep your move eco friendly:
When it comes to packing up your belongings, try to use recycled or reusable materials as much as possible. This includes using recycled boxes (from stores or friends), newspaper or bubble wrap for padding, and fabric bags for clothing. Not only will this reduce waste, but it can also save you money on packing supplies. A great alternative to bubble wrap is GreenWrap, which was designed to offer similar cushioning protection but is naturally biodegradable, compostable, and fully recyclable. Make sure to do your research and stock up on any eco-friendly packing supplies you may need well before moving day.
A helpful list of eco-friendly packing supplies:
- Cornstarch packing peanuts
- Reusable bins
- Cardboard boxes from a previous move
If you have items that you no longer need or want, consider donating or selling them instead of throwing them away. This declutters your home and someone else gets use out of items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Plan ahead for how you will dispose of the mountainous piles of trash traditionally accumulated during a move. If you plan on throwing out a ton of old documents, use a paper shredder and locate a recycling center. For electronics – things such as cords, old phones, computers etc – there are many electronic recycling centers! Earth911 is a service that finds your nearest recycling location depending on the kind of battery you need to discard. You can also check out your nearest Best Buy, which most likely will be happy to assist you in recycling. Here is a guide for recycling old electronics.
Also, don't forget to make your new home green! There are so many ways to institute new habits into your home that help the environment. You can reduce water waste by investing in a conserving shower head, start a compost, and put out a bin for all your glass bottles. Other helpful methods are:
- Using eco friendly paint
- Installing solar panels
- Cleaning the coils of your fridge
- Hand washing dishes
- Minimizing use of washer and dryer
- Invest in rechargeable batteries
Once you've settled into your new home, take some time to learn about the sustainability initiatives in your community so you can get involved right away!