There are a billion and one things to consider when you are moving home and it is commonly known to be a very stressful experience. Even so, more and more people are considering the environmental impacts of their actions, including moving home. If you are planning a move, whether internationally or more locally, and thinking about how to make your move more sustainable, we’re here to help. The following pointers provide places to start examining the areas where you can do something to be more green, from decluttering beforehand to reusable moving boxes.
Minimise the Load
One of the best things you can do for the environment when you’re moving house is to simply move less. With fewer belongings, you will need less packaging and need fewer trips between your old and new homes, saving on time, money, and doing that extra bit for the environment. But this might seem easier said than done.
Starting way before your moving date, start having a declutter of your belongings. If you are downsizing, this will be an excellent opportunity to identify what you must take with you and what you could shed before the move. Old clothes, pieces of furniture, even old children’s toys often take up a large amount of space while never being used. Decluttering before the move can feel like a weight off your shoulders.
Another area that you might have missed is food waste. Food will not transport well, particularly if you are undertaking an international move. In the weeks and months before moving day, make sure that you are using up all the frozen foods that you may have forgotten about. Get creative to use up all your fresh and dried ingredients so that, come moving day, you will have a minimal amount of food and drink to load into the moving van.
Reuse and Recycle
Once you have identified the items in your home that need not be there, it might be tempting to simply throw everything away. Thousands of items of furniture and clothes end up in landfills in the UK every year. While it might be the quickest and easiest option, throwing away old and broken items would not be doing the environment any favours.
Luckily for you, there are many alternatives to the landfill that can give your items a whole new life. Websites like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are great ways to give away your old items. You might be able to get some money from unwanted belongings while giving someone else something they need without them having to fork out huge amounts of money. On the other hand, giving to charity shops is a great way of ensuring your items go to a good home and do something good for vulnerable people or animals.
Alternative Moving Boxes
It’s a fact that you’re going to need a way of transporting your belongings when moving house, and this will involve boxes. Before your moving day, ensure that you have gathered all the boxes, suitcases, and drawers from around your house to minimize the amount of cardboard or plastic boxes you will need to buy or hire. Some removals companies might provide crates that you can rent or reusable moving boxes, so do your research before deciding on a company to help you move.
Again, websites like Gumtree and Freecycle are the perfect place to find reusable moving boxes or simply boxes that can be used and passed on again. Local shops might also have an abundance of cardboard boxes after recent deliveries. You should check with them to save some leftover boxes to help you transport your items. This will be beneficial to both parties as shops will simply have less to throw away.
Alternatives to Plastic Packaging
While many items will survive the journey from one location to another with ease, you likely have fragile and breakable items in your inventory. While bubblewrap may be your immediate thought, start thinking a little more creatively. Scarves, items of clothing, old newspapers and magazines are all great ways to fill in the gaps between and around your fragile items. In doing so, you can save money on purchasing rolls of plastic packaging before your move.
If you find yourself with too many items to wrap in scarves and newspaper, look to plastic-free and eco-friendly bubble wrap. Oxo-degradable bubble wrap is available from major packaging suppliers and some removal companies and is an excellent sustainable alternative to plastic bubble wrap.
If you are embarking on an international move, check out our top packing hacks for moving abroad to help you make the most of your packing supplies.