7 ways to produce less waste while moving

Eco Friendly Packing Guide - October 11, 2019

Our planet is in big trouble. The amount of waste we produce each year is growing by the minute. Many companies are trying to reduce their output of waste by using greener products and machines. However, there is something we can do as individuals as well. During relocation, we use a lot of packing supplies and materials. This often results in a lot of trash, anything from duct tape to leftover boxes. While it may seem difficult, there are simple ways to produce less waste while moving and make your relocation more eco-friendly. Read our 7 best tips and know that you will be making a difference.

Declutter your home to produce less waste while moving

In every home, there is bound to be a significant amount of items no one uses anymore. For example, that one drawer in your kitchen where you stuff everything without thinking. Or, even worse, an entire closet of discarded clothes, toys, newspapers, etc. If this sounds familiar, it is time to get down to business. Before you start to pack your belongings, you should decide exactly what you want to take with you. Instead of just throwing everything into boxes and calling it a day, you should consider each item. Think about the last time you used it and whether you believe you will use it again. If the answer is no, it’s time to discard it. Since you will have fewer items, you will need less packing material, and thus, leave less trash behind you.

Shelves with things to empty out to produce less waste while moving.
The fewer items you have to move, the less expensive your move will be.

Remember to ask your friends or family if they would like something of yours. However, if it is broken or damaged, always recycle if possible. For those items that are still in good condition, you can organize a garage sale. This is a good way to earn some extra money on the move. Another good way to save money is to rent moving supplies. This is a win-win: you don’t leave any unnecessary waste behind you, and you save more than a few bucks on supplies.

Use reusable packing supplies

A great way to produce less waste while moving is to use packing supplies that you can use more than once. If you’ve used cardboard boxes before, you likely have some lying around your home. However, used cardboard boxes are not very safe for moving your items. Since they were packed before, you might have trouble taping them together. Also, the bottom of the box can break during transport, so it is not safe for carrying heavy items. Instead, to make your relocation greener, use plastic moving tubs. These tubs are excellent for any weather condition, as they will keep your items dry, even in heavy rain. Furthermore, you can reuse them for another move, or use them for storage in your home, so you won’t be producing more waste.

When cardboard boxes become wet, they cannot be recycled. This is another downside of using cardboard boxes for your move. Since you are trying to move in an eco-friendly way, you should use as few of these boxes as possible.

Use what you already have to produce less waste while moving

Even though they aren’t suitable for packing, used cardboard boxes have another function. Flatten them out and use them to cover your floors, both in your old house and the new one. This will protect your floors from scratches and dirt, so you will spend less time cleaning your new home. Additionally, there are other things you likely already have that you can make use of.

For example, instead of spending money on packing paper, you can use old newspapers to stuff the empty spaces in your bins. This will prevent items from moving around, especially those that are fragile. Another tip is to use old towels, rags, or linens instead of moving blankets. That way, you kill two birds with one stone – you reduce the amount of waste while saving space at the same time.

Many towels wrapped in bundles.
Towels are great insulators for fragile or delicate items.

Clean your house with natural products

There is a way for you to reduce the amount of waste while moving and at the same time, use healthy cleaning alternatives. The chemicals in most cleaning products can be harmful to your health, not to mention the environment. That is why we’ve come up with some solutions. For cleaning wooden or plastic surfaces, add a cup of water to a cup of vinegar. You can place this solution in a spray bottle to make cleaning easier. This natural cleaner will keep all of your furniture safe.

For windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces, the recipe is simple: a cup of rubbing alcohol, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of vinegar. This will leave your surfaces sparkling, without any risk to your health or that of your family.

Pack in a way that saves space

In order to use as few packing supplies as possible, and thus produce less waste while moving, you need to pack efficiently. Make sure that the space in every moving bin you use is utilized. To achieve this, a good idea is to place items into larger items. For example, if you have any dressers or cabinets, leave your items inside instead of packing them separately. Just wrap it and secure tightly to prevent them from falling out.

Another tip is to pack your kitchen utensils, spices, and other smaller items into larger cookware. Simply tape down the lid and secure it with a strap.

A pot on a stove.
Pack things into other things – it will save space and make your move more eco-friendly.

Recycle everything you can

It goes without saying that recycling has a large impact on the environment. That is why you need to recycle everything you can after you are done with your move. The most common recyclables are paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, and glass. There are many recycling programs that take all kinds of leftover packing supplies and packing waste, so make sure to look for your local recycling center.

Drive efficiently to produce less waste while moving

One of the biggest causes of pollution is fossil fuel. When you hire professional movers, they know how to drive to your destination in the most efficient way. This means that it takes them only one trip. However, if you are driving yourself, you can produce less waste while moving even during the drive. Think about how you load your moving truck. You need to maximize the space in order to make it in one trip. Multiple trips mean using more gas, which in turn is detrimental to the environment.

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