Taking care of the world around us is very important to many people, and it’s a theme that can be applied to many different situations. One area where several eco-friendly approaches can be taken: When you’re preparing for or executing a move, whether for your home, office or any other location.
At Sullivan Moving & Storage, we’re happy to help with a wide variety of services and needs for any moving process you’re organizing, from local moves to long-distance moves, international moves and more. What are some ways to make your entire moving process more eco-friendly while lowering your carbon footprint? Here are a few, which we’ll categorize on a timeline basis to keep things simple.
Before the Move
In the days and weeks leading up to the move, there are several simply ways to approach setting up your move that will allow you to make a limited environmental impact. While some of these may not seem directly connected to sustainability, they allow you to be organized and detailed — which in turn allows you to pay attention to eco-friendliness. Here are some general ideas:
Lay out your sustainability plan: If you’ve already decided that you’re going to focus on making your move as eco-friendly as possible, write it down or type it out. This will help you keep track of your goals and make better decisions along the way. For instance, you might decide that you’re going to use recycled materials as much as possible for packing, or look for local companies that focus on sustainability.
Label everything: This may sound tedious, but it’s important. As you start packing up your belongings in the days and weeks before the move, make sure to label everything clearly. That way, you can avoid having to open up and search through boxes when you get to your new location, which wastes time and can damage items. You’ll also be able to more easily identify what goes where, which is important for unpacking later on.
Use recycled materials: One of the simplest ways to reduce your environmental impact during the packing process is to focus on using recycled materials. This can include using old newspapers or magazines as packing material, as well as reusing any old boxes you might have around the house. If you don’t have any usable materials, look for local stores or businesses that might have some to spare.
Make plans for hazmat: If your move will involve any hazardous materials — such as cleaning products, paint, etc. — make sure to properly label them and have a plan for disposing of them before the move. This might include taking them to a local disposal center or contacting your municipality to see if they have any special instructions. Moving companies have a list of items they will not move, be sure to review prior to your relocation.
Another major area where eco-friendly steps can be applied is during the packing process itself. This is where most of the physical work will be done, so it’s important to pay attention to detail and make sure you’re not wasting any materials. Here are some ideas:
Give yourself plenty of time: Rushing through the packing process is a surefire way to end up wasting materials and damaging items. Make sure you give yourself enough time to pack properly, and don’t try to do everything in one day.
Use reusable packing material: In addition to using recycled materials, another great way to reduce your environmental impact is to focus on using reusable packing materials. This could include using reusable bags or containers, which can be used again in the future.
Use biodegradable packing material: If you don’t have any reusable materials on hand, another great option is to use biodegradable packing materials. These are made from natural ingredients and will break down over time, making them much better for this purpose.
Day of the Move
On moving day, here are some strong sustainability tips to keep in mind:
Turn off HVAC while loading: Since doors will be open frequently and you’ll likely be going in and out of the house frequently, there’s no need to keep the heating or air conditioning running. This will save energy and help reduce your carbon footprint.
Plan the route: Whether on your own or in coordination with our moving professionals, take some time to map out the most efficient route to your new location. This will help save time, fuel and resources.
Recycle packaging or boxing materials: Once everything is unpacked at your new location, make sure to recycle any packaging or boxing materials that were used. This includes anything from newspapers and magazines to cardboard boxes and plastic wrap.
New Home Sustainability Practices
While you’ll have some time to consider certain eco-friendly areas of your new home, there are also a few areas to look into fair immediately:
HVAC and air quality: One of the most important things to do when you first move into a new home is to get the heating and air conditioning system serviced. This will help ensure that it’s running efficiently and not wasting any energy. Additionally, be sure to change the air filters regularly to help improve the air quality in your home.
Lighting: Another great way to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint is to focus on using energy-efficient lighting. This includes LED bulbs, which use much less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Water usage: One of the best ways to save water is to install low-flow fixtures in your new home. This includes showerheads, faucets and toilets, which can save a significant amount of water over time.
These are just a few of the many ways you can make your move eco-friendlier and more sustainable. By taking the time to consider these tips, you can help reduce your impact on the environment and make sure you’re doing your part to take care of the world around us.