19 Eco-Friendly Moving Tips for a Clean, Green Move

  • Aug 2, 2023

Moving to a new home is a great way to get a clean start, but it might not always be green. Between packing up your belongings, transporting them, and setting up your new home, the environmental impact of your moving process can really add up. Here are some ways you can reduce your environmental impact in the midst of your move:

1. Avoid cardboard waste by renting reusable moving boxes. By renting reusable storage bins from one of these companies, you can reduce waste by eliminating the need for cardboard boxes and tape. 

2. Reuse cardboard boxes. If you have any friends or family members moving before you, ask to take their cardboard boxes after they move and give them a second life during your move. You can also plan ahead and start saving any shipping boxes you receive before your move, or you can go on the hunt for free, leftover cardboard boxes.

3. Pack in containers you already have, such as suitcases, reusable grocery bags, duffel bags, or even the drawers of furniture you’re moving. 

4. Avoid using bubble wrap and packing peanuts to pack. Instead, use things like towels, blankets, t-shirts, or even socks to help protect your fragile items during the move.

5. Use a sustainable moving company like Movers Not Shakers or Gentle Giant if you decide to hire a moving company, or do research to find green moving companies in your area that use eco-friendly materials and practices.

6. Limit your transportation emissions. Try to be as efficient as possible during your move. Pack your car or moving truck as much as you can, and try to limit the amount of trips you take back and forth between your old home and new home.

7. Avoid using single-use disposables before, during, and after your move. It may seem easier to stay hydrated during your move with plastic water bottles or eat off of paper plates for your first week in your new home, but all it takes is a little planning ahead to make sure your reusable water bottles, a few plates, some forks, and other waste-free items are easily accessible during your move.

8. Donate, gift, and sell unwanted items to lighten your packing load and find new homes for your unwanted belongings. You’ll reduce the pollution associated with transporting all your belongings and ensure your old belongings don’t end up in landfills.

9. Join your local Buy Nothing group to give away things from your old home or find things for your new home. Buy Nothing allows neighbors in local communities to give and receive things that might have otherwise been thrown away—completely for free!

10. Avoid throwing things in the trash as much as possible. When you’re overwhelmed and busy packing up your old home, it can feel easy and tempting to simply throw away things that you don’t want anymore or things you can buy replacements for, like toiletries, cleaning supplies, or condiments. Whenever you find yourself going to throw something in the trash can, resist the urge and ask yourself if you can keep, donate, recycle, or repurpose it. 

11. Make sure you properly dispose of everything you do throw away. Follow your local guidelines for discarding items such as electronics, paint, or household cleaners. Check out Earth911 or the EPA website to find your local and state guidelines on recycling or discarding hazardous materials.

12. Donate any unwanted pantry items to a local food bank rather than throwing the food away, as it will eventually sit in a landfill and emit harmful methane gas. You should also be smart with grocery shopping before your move so you don’t have to throw away any produce or perishable items on your moving day.

13. If you buy new items for your new place, take this opportunity to upgrade to more sustainable things, whether it’s furniture, decor, or kitchen items. Check out our blog post with simple swaps you can make throughout your new home to make it more eco-friendly!

A bright living room with house plants.

14. Purchase items for your new home from thrift stores, online marketplaces, or other secondhand sources, rather than buying everything brand new. Reduce waste by supporting a circular economy (while likely saving some money, too).

15. Set up your new home with energy-efficient appliances, such as LED light bulbs, light dimmers, smart strips and plugs, or Energy Star appliances to help you save both money and the planet.

16. Arrange the furniture and decor in your new home based on energy efficiency. For example, don’t place a couch right in front of a vent, and don’t place things that might emit heat (such as lamps or TVs) close to the thermostat.

17. Manage your new thermostat wisely. Based on the floor plan, natural lighting, and HVAC system in your new home, your new thermostat may operate differently than your old one, and the standard temperature in your old home might not be the best temperature for your new thermostat. Make sure you set the thermostat at the optimal temperature for energy efficiency.

18. Install a smart thermostat in your new home, if possible. By allowing you to adjust the temperature from your smartphone and automatically self-adjusting based on the current weather, smart thermostats can help keep you comfortable when you’re home and save energy when you aren’t.

19. Choose 100% clean energy for your new home. One of the easiest and most impactful ways you can help protect our planet is by choosing 100% renewable energy from wind and solar sources for your home. Learn more about how you can sign up today in just 2 minutes to help create a better environment for future generations.

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