I plan on moving several states away and I’m concerned about the entire moving process from packing up, to traveling, to unpacking.
Wow, I had no idea but after doing some research on this is looks like the green moving industry is really up and coming. Rentagreenbox.com is a company that provides zero-waste plastic moving bins and packing material that you can rent while you move your belongings. Instead of using cardboard boxes and paper packing material, these items are more durable and can be used over and over by different customers to move. Go Green Moving is another company that uses low emissions, fuel efficient, or even biodiesel powered moving vans, uses recycled packing materials (including, like Rentagreenbox, rentable crates), moving pads made of recycled cotton, and other practices to have as little environmental impact as possible. Right now, it looks like these two companies service a small geographic area but are hoping to expand. To find similar companies, just do a search for green moving in your area. Good luck!
This is a great question, as millions of Americans move every year, yet moving isn’t usually an activity associated with environmental degradation. Cardboard moving boxes contribute to exactly that, however. One aspect of your move you could rethink is using Rent-a-Green Box. They deliver re-usable plastic containers to your house for your packing, and pick them up two weeks after the move when you’ve settled into your new home. The promotional video is below:
Another huge part of moving is getting rid of the seemingly endless bits and bobs that you no longer want. Resist the urge to chuck them all in a trash bag and dump them (as strong as it may be) and instead think of donation, a yard sale, or freecycling them.
If you’re using movers, there are a surprising number of “green” moving companies, depending on your area. If you’re renting a truck, ask the company about more fuel efficient vehicles. If you’re moving quite far away and are saddled with a gas-guzzling moving van, buying carbon offsets is a painless way of eliminating a little guilt.
Yeah, I’ve been there. It’s daunting to think about all the cardboard boxes — digging them out of dumpster in an alleyway or buying them for a small fortune from a retail store, either way it’s a hassle. But you do have some options to avoid the cardboard conundrum:
If you do end up using cardboard boxes, try calling around to businesses that might have an excess of boxes. Even places you wouldn’t expect. Every single last one of my moving boxes came from my local pet store, who has more boxes every weekday from incoming shipping than they know what to do with. They welcome people taking them, to save recycle bin space. Also, bookstore warehouses might be a good idea.
I realize you’re moving across states, but just to put it out there, there are some places that move by bike. Yes, even couches and beds and appliances can be moved by bike trailer. In Portland Oregon, they’re called “bike moves” and everyone brings their bikes and the person moving is expected only to provide breakfast snacks and lunch afterward. This may only be a thing in Portland or bike friendly cities, but it’s certainly green!
Since you’re moving several states away look into shipping by rail, it emits much less C02 than trucks.
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