Moving can be an exciting yet stressful part of life. You have a million things to think about executing to make sure you’re out of your old house on time and settled into a new place.
So, sustainability probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind.
But, if you’ve been trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, hit the “pause” button in your mind when you’re going through the moving process. By stopping and making some simple changes, you can create a more eco-friendly moving experience. Doing so can help to alleviate some of your own stress, knowing you’re doing something good for the environment.
The average home move generates about 17 kilos of CO2 emissions – the same as leaving a lightbulb on for about eight weeks. With that in mind, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint when you’re making a move?
While this might be a principle you use in everyday life, it’s especially important when you’re moving.
First, reduce the amount of “stuff” you take with you. Have every family member go through their belongings and decide what they don’t want or need. Many items can be donated or sold rather than thrown away. If you’re moving into a smaller house – or jumping on board with the tiny house movement – getting rid of excess stuff will make your new place seem less cramped.
You should also take the time to clean and repair the things that need it in your current home. Fixing damages before you move will help to ensure the new owners don’t get rid of things like carpet or appliances right away, which can contribute to more CO2 emissions and waste. Some of the easiest things to clean and repair include:
- Carpet stains
- Damaged drywall
- Chipped paint
- Scuff marks
- Scratches on hardwood
- Exterior dirt and damage
When it comes to reusing, consider using reusable boxes and bins for packing rather than flimsy boxes you’re just going to have to throw away. Reusable boxes are a great way to keep your belongings safe and secure, especially if you’re moving long distances. Plus, you can use them for storage once you’ve moved into your new place.
Finally, recycle as much as possible once you’ve moved in. Even if you use cardboard boxes, they can be recycled by giving them to other people or putting them in your community recycling program.
Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, taking multiple trips back and forth can be one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions throughout your move. Thankfully, with a little planning ahead, you can limit the trips you take by:
- Starting to prepare as soon as you list
- Renting a moving truck
- Scheduling days off work dedicated to moving
- Color-coding your boxes
- Having an inventory list
- Packing smartly
- Keeping cords with appliances and hardware taped to the furniture
Creating a strategy will give you a better idea of how many times you’ll need to go back-and-forth, and how to minimize those trips. You might also want to consider working with an eco-friendly moving company.
Many moving businesses are now prioritizing their sustainable practices because they know how important it is to consumers. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding a company that cares about the environment with a little bit of research. These companies can make it easier for you to have peace of mind about your move, as they’ll implement greener practices that emit fewer emissions.
While moving might always be a little bit stressful, it doesn’t have to be damaging to the planet. With a few simple swaps and conscious choices, you can practice sustainability while moving somewhere new.