How to Make Your Long-Distance Move More Eco-Friendly

October 18, 2022
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Moving is often unavoidable. 

A new job, a family emergency, or just the itch to travel could prompt you to start loading up a U-Haul with your worldly possessions. If you’re relocating, you probably want it to be over as soon and painlessly as possible. As you rush around to pack up your belongings and double-check everything, it’s easy to lose sight of how your relocation impacts the natural world.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are by transportation. Transportation has been the largest contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions since 1990. And if you’re moving to a state like Idaho, which has some of the most populated areas in the country, according to a 2019 State of the Air report, you’d want to be more careful about minimizing this impact.

Here are some ways you can make your move more eco-friendly.

Prefer Self Storage over Commercial Warehouse Storage

If you have some additional items you can’t find space for, we recommend using self-storage facilities to store them to make your move more eco-friendly. 

When you compare several aspects of self-storage with commercial warehouse services, it’s easier to understand the logic behind this advice. First, in a commercial setup, warehouses store the equipment of hundreds of customers in a controlled environment and consequently produce environmental pollution from lighting, heating, and cooling. Therefore, a commercial warehouse means more toxic gas emissions and a bigger carbon footprint. 

Self-storage, on the other hand, is a personalized storage space and thus has a smaller carbon footprint. You can easily find several storage options depending on anywhere you’re moving. 

So if you’re moving to Idaho and are going to be a Rathdrum resident, you can check out Rathdrum self storage. This facility provides all-out 24/7 security to your self-storage with digital access gates. It gives you the luxury of storing your belongings at your convenience and in an eco-friendly way. 

Opt for Backloading Moving Service

With a backloading moving service, you can share the moving truck with other customers and pay for the space you need. It is not only a cost-effective way of moving your stuff, but you can also help the environment by saving the number of trips from your state to another and therefore play your part in reducing carbon footprints. 

Adopt Eco-Friendly Ways of Packing Household Items

Paper and cardboard are among the main packaging waste material amounting to an average of over 82 million tons of municipal solid waste each year

Here are some packing materials and packing tips to decrease your packing expense and make your move greener and more sustainable:

  • Personal Containers

Instead of wasting your plastic and cardboard containers, it’s best to utilize them for packing your stuff. Pack as much of your stuff as possible in personal suitcases, plastic bins, grocery bags, and storage boxes. When you hire a professional moving company, they can easily transport filled drawers and cabinets, so try to fill up your dresser drawers with lighter, non-fragile items. You can also store boxes you have received throughout the year and use them for packing.

  • Recycled Moving Supplies

Using recycled material for packing is your first step towards a green move. Corrugated boxes and crates are the best alternatives to cardboard boxes. They are made from recycled material, are tougher, more durable, and cost-effective. Moving companies that offer green moves usually utilize corrugated boxes and crates to pack all types of items, regardless of weight and size. Corrugated boxes are not only less expensive than cardboard and plastics, but they also help you save fresh resources.

  • Towels and Cotton Sheets

To make your move greener, you can replace bubble wraps and Styrofoam sheets with your quilts, towels, old clothes, and cotton sheets to wrap your fragile items. Quilts and towels are best at absorbing shocks without costing you extra money.

  • Leverage Used Packing Material

Instead of purchasing new cardboard boxes, try to collect used ones wherever possible. For example, you can check out your local grocery stores or friends for spare boxes or purchase defective boxes from a local packaging manufacturer or supplier. In addition, try to find people giving away free moving boxes in your area.

Declutter and Donate

A long-distance move is a perfect time to eliminate all the extra stuff and reduce the number of boxes and packing materials you require. Fewer boxes mean less effort to pack and unpack your household items. Make a list of things you haven’t used in a while or worn-out items that you need to throw away. Donate unused clothing, accessories, furniture, and household items to a charity. If you have any items left even after decluttering and donating, think of ways to recycle them for other purposes. You can also check your area for eco-friendly recycling units to give away unused items. 

Sort Throwaway Items 

Before you get rid of the unused items, it’s best to sort them according to the type of material. For example, put paper-based materials, plastics, glassware, tin, and fabric in separate boxes before handing them over to the purge bin service or local recycling unit. Although recycling units are not always eco-friendly, you can minimize energy use by pre-sorting the materials instead of passing them through the electronic-belt sorting process. 

Recycle Packing Materials and Supplies after the Move is Complete

For an eco-friendly move, you need to keep the environment in mind through the whole process – from packing to moving and unpacking. Once your stuff is delivered to the destinated location, it’s time to adopt eco-friendly ways of recycling the packing materials and supplies. Recycle all the disposable materials or give them away for free to friends, acquaintances, or neighbors who need these packing materials. Avoid disposing of boxes, plastic materials, or non-environmental-friendly materials like bubble wraps, plastic sheets, packing peanuts, or Styrofoam balls. Instead, take them to the nearest recycling unit or give them away. 

Final Thoughts

Every action we take in our daily lives directly impacts the environment. With the climate change crisis soaring, we must adapt to eco-friendly ways in all areas of life, including long-distance moves. The tips mentioned above will help you plan an eco-friendly long-distance move and play your part in minimizing your carbon footprint.

author avatar
Chloe Taylor
Chloe is an art historian and recreational ballet dancer. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics.

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