Moving house is equally one of the most exciting and stressful things you’ll ever do, especially if your new abode just so happens to be the home of your dreams. While you’ll soon be making yours a reality by living your day to day life in the perfect personal space, ensuring that all of your prized possessions – from that statement chaise-lounge to your most expensive luxury jewellery – arrive in one piece and that the completion goes through without a hitch can’t help but cause some concern.
One issue you may not have yet considered when moving home, however, is the environmental impact of the process. If you’ve been living in your current house for some years, then you may well have accumulated all manner of clutter, and even the most minimalistic of homes tend to have lofts, basements and cupboards filled with those items you never use, but still can’t quite seem to get rid of.
The waste you may collect as a result when moving can be detrimental to the environment, and add to that all of the packaging materials you’ll be using to move your belongings and the fuel consumption of the lorry you’ll be using to get you there, and you can easily find yourself having more of a negative impact on the planet than you might have imagined.
Even so, it is possible to move house in a more sustainable and eco-friendly manner – particularly when you bear in mind the motto ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. Here’s all you need to know to make it happen, no additional stress required.
Before packing, declutter
Before packing up your belongings and household items, take some time to declutter your home. It’s essential for sorting out the things you need from those you don’t, and will help to make the move itself lighter, with fewer boxes to pack up and shift also saving you on time.
Nonetheless, decluttering should not mean throwing away all of your unwanted items as they are, so take some time to work out the most eco-friendly way to dispose of them. In some cases, many of the things we no longer need are things friends or family might like, or that charity shops would be eternally grateful for. Make use of clothing banks and recycling centres to minimise any remaining waste and be sure to sort your recycling accordingly.
Pack without plastic
Plastic pollution has become a huge environmental issue over the past few decades, as this cheap to manufacture material continues to be used in excess. Since the majority of it is unrecyclable, there is no such thing as truly ‘disposing’ of it, and much of it ends up in our waterways and ocean as a result, having a detrimental impact on marine life and making its way into the food chain. So, when packing for an eco-friendly house move, do your best to do so without the use of plastic packaging such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts and use more environmentally friendly and recyclable alternatives instead.
For furniture, use cloth coverings instead of plastic to protect the upholstery during your home move – bedsheets and blankets are a good makeshift alternative.
Use cardboard boxes
Standard cardboard boxes might not look like anything special, but there is a reason that they are a tried and tested choice when it comes to moving house. Not only are they recyclable, but they can also withstand between four to seven uses before becoming useless, making them an efficient and more sustainable choice.
You can often source cardboard boxes from supermarkets or from friends and family, which is a more eco-friendly approach than buying your own – although if you do need to make a purchase then you can keep them back for future use in your storage space, as you never quite know when they might come in handy again.
Hire an eco-friendly moving service
As the demand for a more sustainable approach to just about everything in life increases, many industries are adapting in line with this to offer a more eco-friendly service. The world of home removals is no different, with many professional removal services now upping their game accordingly and investing in better practices.
Look for an eco-friendly removal service provider that uses low-emission EEV Standard (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicles) vans – some will even plant trees to offset the emissions that are generated through the moving process. If you hire them in to help with the packing side of things too, then they’ll provide recycled packaging materials, and will minimise use of plastic tape, as well as consolidating your shipments to optimise resources.