Moving is a part of life. It can be from one home to another, going off to college or moving a business from one location to another. When moving or relocating there are certain environmentally unfriendly practices that cannot be avoided. However, you can still take a few eco-friendly measures when getting from here to there that may end up leaving you with a little extra green of your own.
• Conserve Fuel
You cannot substantially reduce the distance from point A to point B, but you can reduce the number of trips back and forth though. A smaller moving vehicle may be cheaper, but springing for the bigger truck reduces trips. You get the savings by spending less on fuel. Consider transporting smaller items in advance to further reduce the number of trips during the actual move. Place more items in boxes to make more room in the truck. Avoid using extra packing materials by wrapping breakables in blankets, towels or sheets that you need to pack anyway. Make sure you or the mover takes the most direct route possible to further cut back on fuel usage.
• Recycle Moving Materials
Before running out to buy a bunch of packing boxes, check with local business to see if they have extra boxes they can give you. This is not only environmentally friendly, but saves you a little money from buying so many packing boxes. Another source of packing materials is your local paper. Some people sell or give away moving boxes and packing materials. You can do the same once you complete your move. Consider placing some items in reusable bags that you normally use for grocery shopping. If you are moving a short distance, place some items in bins and storage containers instead of boxes.
• Do It Yourself
Consider renting a truck for the weekend and making the move yourself. During the week you can prepare for the move by transporting as much as you can in your own car. Ask friends to help with this task. If it is not practical for you to do the moving yourself, try to take care of as many small details as you can before the movers come. Pack items yourself. While moving services can do it for you, they do not always focus on making an effort to go green. You are likely to pack more items in one box. Be realistic about how much you stuff in a box though. Your green effort loses steam if your boxes break in the transport effort.
• Have a Moving Sale
Chances are that you have some stuff you have long been planning to get rid of at some point. Why take it with you just to stick it back in the attic or basement? Having a moving sale to get rid of clothes and other odds and ends you do not really need or use anymore. Not only does this cut back on the number of items you have to transport, but you earn a few bucks in the process. Put the money you make from the moving sale towards fuel or vehicle rental costs.
• Use Technology to Reduce Wasted Trips
If you are scoping out a new apartment or house, avoid making wasted trips. Instead of going back and forth to different locations, considering using Google Earth and other Internet-based tools. This way you get a real-time look at a location without making repeated trips. Once you select a location, try to make as many arrangements over the phone or via the Internet as possible. This way your only major trip is the day you actually move. Use Google Maps and other GPS-based tools to map out the best way to get to your location. Hired movers may not always choose the quickest way.
While saving the planet is not always your biggest priority when moving, a little advance planning and attention to details can reduce your carbon footprint and save you a few bucks in the process. In the end, it’s a win-win situation for you and the planet. One more thing. If you are doing the moving yourself, avoid the temptation to throw your bottle of water or any food you get along the way into the trash at your first stop. Use Earth911′s iRecycle app to find the nearest recycling locations along your route. Mother Nature will appreciate the effort.
Becky Harris is the head copywriter for U-Pack moving companies.