Three Tips to a More Sustainable Move
By Niki DeGroot, NC DENR Creative Services
You get the call you have been waiting for: you got the job! But shortly after the excitement subsides, a reality check hits you: now you have to move! But how do you keep your carbon footprint minimized during this big and disruptive transition? Moving is a big chore that no one looks forward to, but here are three ways to ensure a greener move.
- Do not buy moving boxes.
There are multiple outlets to pick up free moving boxes: use them! From the grocery and liquor stores to even the free section of Craigslist, you can find plenty of boxes that can be repurposed. (Just be sure to clearly indicate that it was kitchen gadgets and not frozen hamburger in that box!) Also, remember to ask friends and even coworkers if they have any lying around. Don’t forget that even unconventional items can be used to move and some even have handles. Some of these include laundry baskets, storage totes and trashcans that have been sterilized.
- Do not buy packing materials.
Bubble wrap, packing peanuts or brown packing paper are all expensive and big strains on the environment. Use things that are already in your house to withstand the big move day. Washcloths, towels, tarps, pillows and even gift-wrapping paper can all be used to cradle and protect your finer, delicate items. I used Christmas paper to wrap all of my breakables in the kitchen, and it felt like I was opening presents when I unpacked my boxes!
- Donate, donate, donate!
But what if you simply have more things than you want to pack and lug with you to the new city? Goodwill and local thrift shops usually come to mind when faced with a barrage of stuff you no longer want. But don’t forget your network of family, friends and coworkers who are usually gracious at receiving free things. Leave a bag of groceries in the break room at work, watch it disappear. I visited my brother and sister-in-law with a box brimming with my old Tupperware, and they were grateful for their new hand-me-downs. There are even companies you can pay who will come to your house and pick up larger items. I used the Junk Doctors and paid them by the weight to unload my entire basement of old heavy things. The Junk Doctors in turn will assess their loot, and donate for you, while you receive a tax-deductible receipt.
These are just a few of many other ways to ensure your move lessens the impact on the environment and your wallet. Find out more at: http://www.movers.com/green-moving/environmentally-friendly-moving.html.