Simple Ways to Make Your Move Eco-friendly
Moving Produces a Lot of Waste
It’s 2013 and our world is facing multiple crises. One of the most pressing ones is the need to reduce our waste and help save the environment. Global warming and climate change are both real and they demand our full attention. All of the waste we produce affects not just our waterways and forests, it also affects the health and overall well-being of people around the globe. Aside from this, our excessive demand for raw materials is also taking a toll on our natural resources, which will soon become depleted if we don’t stop or slow down at the very least.
On average, Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash per year. To give you an idea of just how much this is, imagine the RMS Titanic (Remember Jack and Rose?). The Titanic weighed about 46,329 tons. If we consider that, then the United States produces a yearly amount of trash that equates to more than 4, 837 Titanic ships! And that’s just solid waste (paper, plastics, metals, and numerous other wasted products), that doesn’t include water and air pollution yet.
Did you know that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) an average of 2 million people die (worldwide) every year due to air pollution? Worldwide, air pollution is estimated to cause about 9% of lung cancer deaths, 5% of cardiopulmonary deaths and about 1% of respiratory infection deaths. Much of this is caused by factories, cars, trucks and everything that runs on petroleum gas. Just have a glance at our major thoroughfares and our massive traffic jams to imagine how much air pollutants our nation’s biggest cities produce.
So who’s to blame? Every single one of us.
The moving industry is no exception. One of the most highly wasteful industries in the US is the moving industry. A single relocation results in heaps and heaps of waste (numerous boxes, rolls of tape, wrapping papers, paper documents, box fillers, packing peanuts, cords, ropes, discarded old belongings) and truckloads of harmful gas caused by the burning of fuel that powers moving vehicles (not just trucks but your own cars too). Moving your belongings from point A to point B entails a lot of waste and pollution. But in this day and age, practices like this can no longer be tolerated. Everybody must do their part to help the environment and the moving industry is obligated to take serious action.
Everything starts from you though- the customer. In your own simple ways, you too can help in making your move eco-friendly. Here’s how:
Limit your possessions
The amount of shipment involved all boils down to how much stuff you have. So to have an eco-friendly move, start with the root cause- control your possessions. Don’t buy too much. Don’t hoard. Be mindful of how much junk you accumulate in your home.
Learn to let go
If you already have too much, learn to let go. Limiting the carbon-footprint can start with having to transport less stuff. To do this, make an inventory of everything you own and see which things you can sell (on eBay, Craigslist or yard sales) or give away. You can even help others by donating your possessions to charity (Salvation Army). If you need some quick, extra cash then you can even do a yard sale!
Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies
Before you pack your things, for sure, you will be doing a lot of cleaning in your old AND new home. Make sure to use cleaning agents that don’t use harmful chemicals. Go for cleaners that are non-toxic and biodegradable.
Do some creative packing
Before you go searching for cardboard boxes, make sure to use the containers that you already have. That old travel suitcase can store a lot of clothes and trinkets. Old plastic bins, even pillows can serve as containers for some of your belongings. Get creative!
Use old packing materials
Call your local grocery or any nearby shop and ask if they have old packing materials that they want to get rid of. You can ask for cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and fillers. This is a double whammy because not only are you helping to lessen garbage, you’re also getting savings in the process.
Rent reusable storage boxes
Green moving companies have started to gain momentum in the past few years. You can get in touch with EarthFriendlyMoving.com or RentaCrate.com and ask about their reusable green boxes. Some use boxes that have been made from recycled materials. Others will rent you plastic containers which you can then return to them (they’ll pick it up for free). A lot of green movers even use biodiesel fuel for their trucks. A simple online search will lead you to those available in your area.
Each and Every Effort Counts
We understand that the idea of saving the planet is very daunting and who are we to undertake such a gargantuan task. But the truth is every single act matters. Your small efforts will eventually add up into big things. If every single move in America reduces at least 10% in litter (considering that more than 40,000 moves happen in the US every year) then we could reduce about 200 tons of trash. Plus, if you choose a moving company (or truck rental company) that uses biodiesel fuel then you can also reduce the carbon and sulphur pollutants that your moving truck will produce.
In the moving industry, we understand that we are all part of the problem. But the ray of hope shines from the fact that we can also be all part of the solution. A few green choices here and there can result into a move that’s truly eco-friendly. So if you’re planning to start your moving preparations today then make sure to add in some green choices too!