When I had to relocate because of a change of job, the first thing that crossed my mind was the amount of ‘stuff’ I would need to move. All the things I’d collected over decades would now need to be moved across the country, all the way from my seaside home to the bright lights of the big city. Being conscious of the environment, I could see my carbon footprint being mapped across the country; and that got me thinking about how I could reduce it. I could do nothing about the journey itself, but I knew I could control some aspects of the move. Thus, how and what I packed became a mission to be eco-friendly with the move, and here are a few of the ideas I came up with to help me on my eco-friendly removal adventure.
Reduce the load
Perhaps the best way to make your move friendlier to the environment is to make sure you move as little as possible. I took this opportunity to clear out all the things I had been hoarding for years, and recycled everything else. Usable items (I didn’t want) I either sold (actually paying for the move), or gave to thrift shops or local schools. By reducing the amount to be moved I cut down on the packaging required and reduced the need for excessive transportation. This was the perfect first step.
Calculate your removal needs
Once you have finalised everything that is going to move with you, you will need to know how much packaging and the transportation capacity you will need. To do this, I simply called one of the most reputable removals companies in Brighton and organised for a home visit from my final choice. I explained my packing plan, and they gave me an estimate of the number and types of boxes I would require; and even offered to supply them. They also estimated the minimum square footage I would need for the transportation, and thus ensured that I left the least possible impact through transportation emissions.
Generate your packaging
As I was planning well ahead, I now had the opportunity to find the packaging I would require without buying new. The average number of boxes used in a household move is an incredible 60 boxes (check out this great infographic on recycling moving boxes) so I wanted all mine recycled or reused. I asked everybody from friends to local shopkeepers for their boxes, and found an ample supply. I also collected wooden crates and as much paper as I could too. All of it would be used for my final pack, and I could recycle it all again later.
Environmental packaging ideas
A friend had told me about using alternate packing materials, so I did a little research and found some great alternatives I could use. To separate individual items in boxes I used a lot of paper, the clothes I was moving anyway, and my towels and bedding. When it came to packing up my furniture, to stop scratching and dents, I found a great alternative to bubble wrap, and used a product called Geämi paper, which is a fantastic green option. I really did feel that that taking control of my packaging choices helped me with my environmental moving crusade.
Another way I tried to stay eco-friendly with my move was through my choice of cleaning products. I generally only use green products anyway, but in the massive clean-up that took place before my move, this was even more important.
A lifestyle change
No matter how hard you try, a move like mine will have an impact, but all is not lost because of the move. To make up for the damage you have caused, you should take a look at the way you manage yourself in your new property. Now is the time to think about insulation, lighting, and heating options; and how you can reduce your energy use in the future. Take steps to reduce your energy consumption now and you can be forgiven for the damage your move may have caused.