Action Tips: Make Moving Eco-friendly!

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As far as activities we dread, moving generally ranks right up there with a trip to the dentist. For someone who cares about the earth, moving is made worse by the seemingly inevitable amount of waste created during a move: the cardboard boxes, packaging peanuts and/or bubble wrap, which all tend to end up in the trash. Moving your household goods doesn't have to have a harmful impact on the environment.

To Start

    Avoid being a pack-rat. The less stuff you accumulate in the first place, the less you have to pick up and move elsewhere.

Pay It Forward

    Give away or sell any non-essential items. Have a yard sale, or donate your things to your local battered women’s shelter, Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Give the Grub Away Too!

    Chances are your refrigerator is stacked with perishables that won't survive the trek cross-town (or cross-country, depending on where you're heading), so get in touch with neighbors or nearby friends who might like your perishable food stuffs such as last loaves of bread and cartons of milk.

Recycle the Gadgets!

    Getting rid of electronics? Greenpeace estimates that 20 to 50 million tons of electronics waste is discarded globally every year! Don’t add to it. Log on to MyGreenElectronics.org, where you can search for local recycling drop-off points by zip code and product category. You'll also find tips and info on electronics recycling, and a cool energy calculator that will show you how much juice each product uses.

Plan Ahead!

    Know a move is imminent? Hang on to every sizable carton that comes your way.

Keep Your Options Open

    Check your stash for alternatives to bubble wrap and Styrofoam “packing peanuts.” There are less conventional materials you can use for padding fragile belongings. Using padded envelopes and mailers, as well as those plastic air pillows online booksellers are fond of, can also provide extra cushioning for delicate items. Or try used plastic bags, crushed up wads of newspaper, and egg cartons, as well as old blankets and towels.

Troll Your Hood

    Still need packing materials? Scout your neighborhood- retail stores are usually happy to give away boxes they would normally pay to dump or recycle. Or try freecycling, an online way to give stuff you don’t want to people who do.

Rent the Eco-Friendly Way

    You can rent reusable and/or recyclable packing materials from the numerous companies that have been created with “green moving” in mind. Rent-a-Crate and Earth_Friendly_Moving lease out reusable plastic moving crates that are crush-proof and stackable.

The GREEN Truck Route

    Many moving companies are jumping on the green bandwagon by embracing bio-diesel trucks.

Clean Green Style

    Use only eco-friendly cleaning products when scrubbing down both the old and the new digs. Health food stores all carry green cleaners that you can use yourself or instruct the hired help to use.

Cut Down on Junk Mail

    The U.S. Postal Service sells lists of permanent address changes to direct marketers but doesn’t do that with temporary addresses, so save yourself from the piles of junk mail by filing a temporary change of address with your post office.

Sources:
About.com: EnvironmentalIssues
The New York Times
Care2.com
TimesOnline.com
The Daily Green