My family made a cross country move last weekend and while moving can be a lot of work, it doesn't have to have a huge impact on the environment. There are many things that you can do before, during and after your move that can make your transition as Eco friendly as possible. Here are 8 tips that my family used while making our move, hopefully next time you move, these tips can help you too.
1- Get it Sold: Usually, the first thing that you will want to do before moving is sell your existing home. During the listing and selling process, consider using a website with fantastic pictures and details of your home for potential buyers to view rather than those costly home listing fliers. If you do opt for the fliers, instead of loading the 'For Sale' sign box with them, leave them inside your home by the front door. Hopefully, then only really interested buyers will take them and less will find their way to the landfill.
2. It's Time to Downsize: My family decided that the best way for us to make our move as Eco friendly as possible was to majorly downsize. This took a lot of preparation time, but we were able to sell several thousands of dollars worth of things that we no longer used or thought that we would no longer need. You can sell your items via eBay or Craig's List or donate them to your local charitable organization. This saved us a lot in the long run, less things to pack, transport and then unpack when we arrived at our new destination. It also gave us a nice amount of money to use towards moving expenses. Plus, it was nice to see my previously loved items go to new homes where they will live a second life.
3. Pack it Up: Once you have decided exactly what items you are going to take with you, pack it up the Eco friendly way. If you are doing your own packing, consider using recycled boxes, bubble wrap and other packing supplies (you can find a great supply on Craig's List or Freecycle.) My family decided to use a large supply of reusable recyclable plastic bins with locking lids that we have used on our previous moves. This bins are fantastic because they are water proof, have locking lids with handles for carrying, stacked nicely on top of each other in the moving van and can be reused in our new space for storage of season items. Any bins that you are unable to reuse after your move, can be sold or donated. Also, I used linens to wrap up breakables and valuables. I figured I will be taking the linens with me, so they should be put to good use in the process. If you do need to purchase packing supplies, consider choosing supplies that are made of recycled materials.
4. Home Sold-Time to Green Clean: Once your home sells and you have packed up all of your belongings, it is time to give your home one last good cleaning. Consider using all Eco friendly cleaning supplies and when you arrive at your new home, only stock green cleaners in your new kitchen, bath and laundry room.
5. Moving Day: If you are using a moving company, consider choosing one that uses green moving methods including recyclable packing materials, low emissions bio diesel fuel efficient trucks and Eco friendly business practices. If you are moving yourself, remember to pack everything up with Eco friendly packing supplies and then rent your own bio diesel truck if possible.
6. Make It Fun: Moving can be super hard on the entire family, especially if you are all traveling via the moving can, as my entire family did. My husband, nine year old son, 2 dogs and myself all traveled cross country together in a moving van. However, we were able to make it fun by talking, singing, playing games, reading and watching movies. Just continue to remind yourself that a few days of traveling will all be worth it.
7. Bring Your Own Body Fuel: Traveling can be hard on your body, especially if you are eating fast food or truck stop "convenience" store items. We stocked a cooler full of easy to eat, organic snacks, fruits and veggies to keep us going on the road and when we did stop for a meal, we tried to pick the healthiest option available. Also, while traveling bring a reusable beverage mug for each member of your family. It is super Eco friendly and much more affordable to refill a mug at the gas station. And those coffee breaks will be imperative during your move!
8. Time to Get a Good Green Rest: If your move is going to take several days of traveling, you will most likely need to stay in a hotel or two. Try to choose hotels that are committed to sustainability and Eco friendly practices. Green hotels lists hotels that choose water and energy saving equipment and techniques, use Eco friendly cleaning supplies, organic linens and also recycle and compost all waste. Now, that is something that can be celebrated with a good night's rest. You deserve it!
Now that you have made it to your new home, it's time to get unpacked and start living life again. Remember to reuse, donate, sell or recycle any of your packing supplies and enjoy your new space.
How will you or have you made your move Eco Friendly?
Please leave your comments below!
Photo via Alden Jewell