Moving home and staying green!

Having recently moved house I am very aware that it can use up a lot of energy and generate a lot of waste if you don’t do some forward planning before the move. I now consider myself a veteran of house moves, having moved home three times in the past four years alone! 

Written By Zero Waste Scotland  |  3 Nov 10

Each time I learn by my mistakes and I thought I would share my experience with you and show you that you can actually take very simple positive steps to making the move as green as possible.

My first tactic is to move less stuff, so moving home is a great opportunity to de-clutter the home and by moving less stuff you use less packing, storage materials and fuel for transport.  Freecyle is a great way of getting rid of your unwanted possessions so that it can be reused by others.  Charity shops are all crying out for donations, so I made sure that I helped my local charities by donating my unwanted items.  I was lucky as a month before I moved I had an envelope through my door from a local charity who were collecting in my area the following week, so not only did I send eight bags to charity, I also didn’t have to make a special trip in my car to do so.  By donating to charities and similar organisations you are helping to keep these items out of landfill and enabling the charities to continue with their valuable service.

My next task was packing, but how was I going to green this up?   What I needed was old cardboard boxes and my solution was to advertise, through a friend who worked in a large organisation, on their intranet site to see if anyone had any excess boxes.  Within a day I was fortunate to receive an e-mail from a family who had just moved and had almost forty boxes flat packed, all I had to do was collect them!  My next task was the packaging needed to wrap my fragile household items.  I had kept packing tissue and bubble wrap from my previous move so I did have a good supply but I also used old newspaper and cardboard to pack large items such as pictures. 

The week before the moving out date I was able to get the keys to my new property, so instead of leaving the move to one specific date, I decided to move a car load every day I was driving past my new property.  This saved me a considerable amount of fuel and also helped the environment by cutting down my carbon emissions.  I realise that this is not always possible and most of my other moves have had to happen on a specific day, but by getting the keys to my new property a week early enabled me to make this move a little more greener than my last one.

All in all, moving house is a stressful time and it’s all too easy just to through items away in the bin, so the key to being green when you move is being organised!

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