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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.

 

The concept of sustainable building primarily involves the harmonious relationship between ecology and economy in order to preserve the natural wealth for future generations. In real life, sustainable construction is based on many principles of which are the most important: reducing the negative impact of the construction site, the integration of renewable energy sources in the design phase, the use of secondary materials in the construction process in order to preserve natural resources, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing energy consumption and generate their own energy.

GT Tower East

http://www.contemporist.com/

One of the most interesting sustainable building is the GT Tower East in Seoul. This skyscraper with its elegant building facade brings a significant change in a very sharp and orthogonal architecture of Seoul. The tower is 130 meters high, and what makes it specific is its pure organic form. Wavy effect exterior creates an optical illusion when viewed from the side of the building. Designers have integrated many sustainability measures such as solar panels to collect energy, a good ventilation system, well insulated facade and lots of natural light to reduce energy consumption and to make pleasant working environment.

The Hearst Tower

http://inhabitat.com/

Another interesting and sustainable building, the Hearst Tower in New York. This 46 stores high tower is the first commercial building that has won LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. Building meets the highest level of the sustainable construction requirements. It is made from 90% recycled steel, with fascinating ventilation system, heating that can be adjusted on each floor. There are light and humidity as well as the VOC and CO2 sensors installed. Next to these fascinating features, the building has a rainwater-collection tank and the water is mostly used for the air conditioning system and watering plants

Pixel building

http://futuresparks.org.au/

There is another example of architectural environmental solutions in Australia known as Pixel building. The building is a fantastic example of sustainability since it generates all its energy with the help of roof wind turbines and solar panels. It is equipped with a so-called smart window that opens automatically during the night to get enough air ventilated without excessive cooling of the building. In addition, building has its own rainwater harvesting system. The building is made of a special type of concrete, which is called Pixelcrete, which contains half as much carbon than conventional concrete. Pixel is known to be visually attractive because of  the colourful sun shades that are not there just for decoration. They are set to allow maximum utilization of daylight while helping preventing overheating of the room.

TMB building

http://inhabitat.com/

The capital city of Turkey, Ankara is home to Turkish Contractor’s Association headquarters. The outer part of the façade of this building is composed of two layers. The first layer consists of frameless glass to glass and glass to metal panels, while the second layer is made of stainless steel wire mesh. This type of construction gives a sense of connection between the building and its surrounding, while on the other hand limits sun exposure which reduces the temperature during warm days. Many local natural materials were used during construction which decreases ecological footprint. TMB building is also equipped with solar panels and rainwater tanks.

What most distinguishes this building from all the above mentioned is specific air-conditioning system in the form of underground labyrinth cooling system. During the night when the temperature drops, cooled air is stored in labyrinth cells, and is distributed afterwards through the building. On the other hand, during the winter, heat from the soil is used for passive heating of day-time air.

Nowadays, the consequences of global warming have finally shown up and triggered many people’s concerns about our planet. Realizing how important the preservation of natural resources is, many people started using eco-friendly products and appliances. There are numerous decisions we can make in order to save our planet. There is a wide range of things we can possibly do, from recycling or low-budget everyday products, such as paper bags to energy-saving windows.

 

Energy Efficiency

Today, the term “Energy Efficiency” is used more and more. It doesn’t refer to the reducing or renouncing something in order to preserve energy. On the contrary, the same service can be provided by using less energy. This is probably the main idea of the modern time, when you need to invest more work into something that will be highly beneficial for the entire planet.

However, building eco-friendly houses, people would contribute to the preservation of our nature a lot. All around the world, especially in more developed societies, eco-friendly buildings, bridges, or even skyscrapers are being built. Many large corporations started rising such constructions in order to provoke people’s consciousness, and it proved as a great idea. There are numerous people who decided to sell everything they had and to invest all money in an eco-friendly house building.

 

What does an eco-friendly house entail?

The industry of ecologically- friendly homes is based on the newest innovations that enable us construct our homes using eco- materials and techniques. Everything in such houses, from their very bottom to the roof is meant to be energy-saving.

For example, wind turbines represent an alternative energy source. Modern turbines are quiet and their size depends on the energy they must produce.

Even lighting should be appropriate. Instead of using an incandescent lamp, a compact fluorescent lamp should be used.

Solar panels on the roof, which convert solar energy to electricity, are one of the most prominent characteristics of green homes.  Solar windows are also of great importance, since they don’t let heat leave our homes through them. Also, insulation plays a great role when it comes to eco-friendly homes. There are two things you need to pay attention to- the insulation of your walls and loft. Underfloor heating systems are gaining an immense popularity lately. Such floors require much lower temperatures for heating the rooms and that is how they manage to save our energy.

It is also worth mentioning that many home appliances, such as fridges or ovens tend to pollute out environment, thus, their eco versions are highly recommended.

Finally, you should pay attention to the gardening because by growing your own vegetables, you won’t need any kind of its delivery, which will again lower the emission of harmful carbon.

 

Types of eco-friendly houses

There are numerous types of eco-friendly houses, usually based on their structure and materials that are used. .

There are numerous types of houses that are built out of natural materials, such as wood or stone, which are becoming more and more popular.

Large recycled shipping containers could also serve as a modern ecologically- friendly homes. Such houses could contain one shipping container or be a mixture of several ones.

Passive solar houses have been considered as the best possible solution, since they contain everything that was previously mentioned. They are well-isolated and have numerous solar panels, thus, they are able to produce and save the sufficient amount of energy. The perfect example for passive eco-homes is 100% Eco Green House at Costa Rica.

Earth-sheltered eco-houses are in a way, a modern type of dogouts, since they are dug into the hill or even buried. Although their position might sound strange for the modern times, such houses are well-insulated and warm during whole year.

Finally, there are Concrete form houses, where concrete is literally poured into polystyrene forms. One such example is Tepoztlan’s Tubohotel, which is very cheap because it is made out of recycled concrete tubes.

Finally, through the aforementioned examples of most popular types of eco-homes, we actually realize that the future of Earth is in our hands only. Depending on our further actions and tendencies, we can save our planet or keep ruining it.