Nancy shares 18 ways on how to take the stress out and make moving home a more eco-friendly experience.

Moving houses is an opportunity to declutter and eliminate items you no longer need or want. It might be tempting to get rid of as many unwanted items as possible, but this is fast becoming an expensive option. 

These days, there are more eco-friendly options available. Being mindful of how you dispose of your belongings can help reduce your environmental impact. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact while you prepare to move home.

18 Ways To Make Moving Home More Eco-Friendly

Sustainable Living | 1st September 2023 by Nancy Zafrani

Nancy from Oz Moving and Storage shares 18 ways on how to take the stress out and make moving home a more eco-friendly experience.

18 Ways To Make Moving Home More Eco-Friendly

Moving houses is an opportunity to declutter and eliminate items you no longer need or want. It might be tempting to get rid of as many unwanted items as possible, but this is fast becoming an expensive option. 

These days, there are more eco-friendly options available. Being mindful of how you dispose of your belongings can help reduce your environmental impact. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact while you prepare to move home.

Here are 18 ways to take the stress out of moving home and make it more eco-friendly.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to reduce environmental impact is to plan ahead. If you know you’ll move soon, start decluttering your home and removing unwanted items. This way, you’ll have less to pack and move.

2 It is a good idea to start planning your route. This way, you can avoid making multiple trips and wasting fuel. If possible, map out a route that avoids busy roads and heavy traffic. This will help you get to your destination quicker and use less fuel.

When packing your belongings, be sure to pack lightly. The heavier your boxes are, the more fuel it will take to move them. To save space and reduce weight, consider packing items in smaller boxes. You can also use reusable packing materials instead of packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

Minimise your packing materials

4 One of the most significant ways to reduce your environmental impact is to minimise the number of packing materials you use. Narrow down your belongings to only what you need and use eco-friendly packing materials, such as recycled cardboard boxes. If you do not have access to recycled boxes, look for ones made of recycled materials. You can also use fabric bags or reusable storage bins.

When deciding what to bring with you, consider whether you really need it or if you can live without it. This is a great opportunity to declutter and get rid of items you no longer use or need.

Donate or recycle unwanted items

Instead of throwing away unwanted items, consider donating them to a local charity or thrift store. If you have items in good condition but don’t think anyone would want them, see if there’s a local recycling centre that can take them. 

A few items should never be put in the recycle bin, such as hazardous materials, batteries, and light bulbs. Check with your local recycling centre to see what items they accept.

8 If you choose to donate items, clean them before you drop them off. This will make it easier for the charity or thrift store to sell them. Also, be sure to get a receipt for your donation, as you may be able to use it for tax purposes. 

9 If you do not find any options for recycling your unwanted items and you cannot donate them, then consider throwing them away. However, be sure to check with your local municipality or council first to see what items they accept, how to dispose of them properly and if there are costs attached to disposal. Still, as you throw things away, try to reduce the amount of waste you’re creating. 

Hire an eco-friendly moving company

10 If you’re hiring a moving company, look for one that uses eco-friendly practices. Many companies are now using recycled materials for packing supplies and fuel-efficient vehicles to transport your belongings. Not only is this better for the environment, but it can also save you money.

11 Ask about their eco-friendly practices when you’re looking for a moving company. You can also check online reviews to see if other customers were happy with the company’s services. If you’re looking for an even more sustainable option, you can look for companies that use electric vehicles.

Avoid idling your car

12 If you’re hiring a moving company, they will likely have a big truck to move all your belongings in one trip. However, if you’re renting a truck or trailer, you might need to make multiple trips. To avoid wasting fuel, turn off your engine when you’re not driving.

13 If you’re going to be parked for more than a few minutes, it’s better to turn off your engine. This also applies when you’re waiting to pick up someone from the house. Not only will this save you fuel, but it will also help reduce emissions.

14 Also, avoid making unnecessary trips. If you can combine errands into one trip, that would be ideal. For example, instead of making two trips to the grocery store, see if you can pick up other items you need while you’re there. This will help reduce your environmental impact and save you time and money.

Rent or borrow items

15 If you don’t need to keep certain items, consider renting or borrowing them instead of buying them. For example, if you only need a ladder for a few hours, see if you can rent one from a local hardware store. This way, you won’t have to buy one and move it to your new home.

16 You can also borrow items from friends or family members. If you know someone moving soon, ask if they’re willing to let you borrow some of their boxes. This way, you won’t have to buy new ones, and they can use them for their move.

Dispose of hazardous materials properly

17 When decluttering your home, you might come across hazardous materials that must be disposed of properly. These include things like paint, cleaners, and chemicals. Be sure to research the best way to dispose of these items in your area.

In most cases, you can take hazardous materials to your local recycling centre or hazardous waste facility. However, some items might need to be disposed of differently. For example, in the US, fluorescent light bulbs must be taken to a unique recycling centre.

Offset your carbon emissions

18 You can purchase carbon offsets if you want to offset your carbon emissions from the move. These are credits that help fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, you might purchase offsets to help fund tree planting or renewable energy development.

When you purchase carbon offsets, buy them from a reputable company. There are many scams out there, so do your research before you make a purchase.

Moving can be a stressful and chaotic time. However, there are many things you can do to make your move more eco-friendly. By decluttering your home, renting or borrowing items, and offsetting your carbon emissions, you can help reduce your environmental impact. With some planning and effort, you can make your move more sustainable.

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Nancy Zafrani
Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As a lifetime New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organising moves. Nancy has many interests. Her hobbies include painting, hiking, and baking.

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