Unfortunately, moving is associated with a massive environmental footprint. If we are moving, why should the planet pay the price? But, people discard multiple items, use inappropriate means of transportation, and purchase non-ecofriendly supplies. All this happens due to a lack of awareness.
However, if you plan, reducing the carbon footprint becomes easily possible. So, let’s embrace eco-friendly moving from today. Take out your notebooks and jot down the key tips from this article:
1. Plan for the Hazardous Material Disposal
One worst part about moving is an accumulation of hazardous material. Sadly, many of us are unaware of what this material is and how it can harm the environment.
What is Hazardous Material?
In simple terms, it is the material that can badly impact the environment, public, or the carriers. During a move, all chemicals and cleaning supplies of an office or home are considered hazardous material. For instance, gasoline, pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, acids, motor oil, bathroom cleaners, fuel, etc.
Things Not To Do With Hazardous Material
Regrettably, we inappropriately dispose of this material. Be careful in reading the steps that are not acceptable:
- Never through the hazardous material directly into the environment. Similarly, do not dispose of it in the sewerage system.
- Do not directly send the material to the Hazardous Storage Unit until proper protocols are followed.
- Evaporation, as well as dilution of such supplies, is also not allowed.
Disposal Process of Hazardous Material
- Carefully read the back label and see if disposal instructions are given.
- Never dispose of the chemical in any other container. Always keep it in its original container and do not remove the label.
- Do not mix multiple products in a single container before disposal. When chemicals mix, reactions like explosion or ignition might occur.
- Search for a local disposal center and see if it accepts hazardous products.
- Also, search if some of the products can be recycled. Like many garages, accept motor oil and recycle it.
- Read the laws and rules related to hazardous product disposal.
- Even if the containers are empty, rinse them thrice before disposal.
2. Separate Packing Material from Things You Have
There are tons of items that we can easily use for packing. Let us see what these are:
- Reusable grocery bags ( never throw the grocery bags as they can always be reused)
- Gym bags
- Old pillow covers (use pillow covers for storing soft items like clothes, cushions, kitchen towels, etc.)
- Plastic bins ( wash the bins and use them for packing bathroom supplies)
3. Purchase Eco-Friendly Packing Material
No matter where you move, the packing material is needed. But make sure to buy recyclable and biodegradable material. Some of them include:
Not every type of plastic is good for the environment. The environmentally friendly one can be used 400 times. So, buy it once, give it to friends and family, and use it several times.
No need to invest in new cardboard boxes. Used ones are easily available at a low price and can be used twice. But, make sure to dispose of them at a disposal center after use.
Make sure to buy eco-friendly bubble wrap, which is made from polythene. Thankfully, it is 100% recyclable and helps a lot in packing.
If you have some fragile items, you need to purchase some biodegradable packing peanuts. The ones made from vegetable oil and cornstarch are the best option.
4. Sell, Donate, and Send Gifts
Instead of throwing things like waste, you can sell them, send them as gifts, or donate to the poor.
Separate the new items from your stuff and send them as gifts. This will inspire others, and they will also think about sending gifts in their next move. This cycle will benefit the environment.
Contact some charity houses and donate things. Some of them even pick up the items from your place. You can also directly contact the poor and unprivileged.
Bonus Tip: Make a post on social media about your move and donation. Ask others if they also want to donate stuff. Collect all the stuff at one place and then donate altogether.
Post pictures of your items on social media channels and websites. Sell them and you will get a good amount in a few days.
5. Do not Pack All your Kitchen Items
Packing the kitchen stuff is one of the most difficult moving jobs. Therefore, separate the items and pack them one by one. For instance, use cardboard and put soft foam layers for packing the glass dishes, plates, and glasses.
Now, take out all plastic items but do not pack them. This is the best time to stop using all plastic items. If you develop a habit of using them, it will not be good for your health and equally bad for the environment. The more plastic you use, the more you dispose of it. Consequently, the environment will bear the results.
6. Avoid Unnecessary Trips
Many of us take several trips during the moving process. This additional use of transportation is often overlooked. Thus, the overall impact becomes adverse for the environment. Therefore, it is better to hire a big van for transporting all your goods in one go. This is only possible if you plan, make separate cartons for every item, label them, and then call the van when you are all done.
Otherwise, you can consult with a moving company and take the moving services. In this case, the company will be responsible for transporting goods. Many environmentally friendly companies now have big vans to avoid unnecessary trips.
7. Choose the Best Moving Company
Whether it is an international relocation or a local move, a professional moving company is always helpful. Instead of bearing all the hassle, let the experienced team handle your move. But, tons of companies are present in the market. Since relocation is not an easy process, you need to find the best one. Here are a few tips for you:
Steps to Find a Moving Company
Follow these steps to pick an eco-friendly moving company:
Ask your co-workers, family, and friends about the best options. Also, check out some online reviews and social media groups. Many real estate agents also know about moving companies. So, if you are in touch with an agent, get some suggestions.
Remember, the estimate you get will never be the real one. So, always add up at least 10% in the rough estimate to get the exact one. Additionally, take estimates from the best three companies on your list.
Notice the Red Flags
Every mover is not a legit one. A professional company will never ask for an upfront payment before checking your items. Similarly, its customer service representative is smart enough to answer technical questions. Also, notice the moving van. A reputable company will never work with a rented van.
Check the License and Insurance
Depending upon the move, you need to check the insurance and license of the company. This will help you in claiming the company in case of theft or mishandling. If it is an international move, you will check it through the protectyourmove.gov site. Whereas local movers will check the license through a consumer agency.
Ask Questions about Eco-Friendly Practices
Though many companies provide seamless moving services, only a few consider eco-friendliness. Therefore, asking questions about sustainability is important. Inquire about the packing material, disposal of waste, use of transportation, etc.
8. Choose Sustainability Even after Relocation
If you have followed all the above tips in your move, you deserve a tap on your shoulder. But this is not the end. We need to stay green for our entire life. Even after relocating, our sustainability practices should never end. Here are a few important things to follow:
- Never throw your packing material; either keep it for another move or sell it.
- You must be needing some house cleaning solutions for your new house. Make sure to avoid the use of hazardous material. Instead, use homemade solutions like baking soda and vinegar solution along with a few drops of lemon. This solution is ideal for kitchen and bathroom cleaning.
- Use LED lights and store energy.
- Do not throw the plastic bins of your old house that you used in packing. Put them in your storeroom and use them as storage boxes.
Ensure an Eco-Friendly Move Every time You Relocate
All in all, a sustainable relocation is possible if you follow some simple tips. All you need is to plan, search for the right packing material, dispose of the hazardous material at the right place, and not accumulate waste. Either sell or donate the things. You can also send them as gifts.
Apart from it, avoid unnecessary trips and follow the green practices even after you move. But, if the entire process looks difficult, hire a well-known moving company.
Let’s save the planet and start following all green rules from today!