We Americans have a habit of accumulating a lot of “stuff,” and our lifestyles can sometimes create excess waste. These facts can be especially apparent when you are packing and unpacking for a move. If you are looking for some ways to protect Mother Earth during your move, you will find these tips helpful!

1.      Pack environmentally consciously. Boxes and packing supplies such as foam peanuts create a lot of extra trash. One fairly inexpensive way to reduce this trash is to purchase rubber tubs. Once you have finished with your move, these tubs can be reused to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, and other items that you are sure to accumulate over the years. Inevitably, you will have to purchase some moving boxes to make sure that all of your items make it safely to your destination. Instead of throwing these boxes in the trash when you finish with them, consider donating them to someone else, or recycling them. Another great way to reduce moving related trash is to use old blankets and towels as padding in your boxes rather than packing paper when possible.

 

2.      Donate unwanted items. When you are tired of going through your things and come across something that you don’t want anymore, it is tempting to take the easy way out and just throw it away. However, your old VHS movies, clothes that no longer fit, and that unwanted old couch could mean a lot to a local charity or thrift shopper. Additionally, books that you have already read (which add a lot of weight to your move) would be greatly appreciated at your local library. Rather than adding to the landfill, take a little extra time and energy to go through your belongings and either host a garage sale or donate them to a charity in need.

 

3.      Dispose of hazardous items properly. Certain items cannot be shipped by professional movers because they represent a hazard. Hazardous items are anything that is flammable, corrosive, or explosive. Some examples include fertilizer, car batteries, bleach, ammunition, and paint thinners.  If the movers won’t take them, it probably isn’t the best idea for you to try to ship them yourself. When disposing of these items, try to be conscious of the environment. Check with your local waste management company to see if they have a designated  hazardous materials disposal day, or contact a local vendor of the material to be thrown away to see if they offer disposal services.

 

4.      Don’t waste food. Try to plan your meals carefully in the weeks preceding your move so that you don’t end up with a lot of perishables on move day. Professional movers can’t move perishable items, and depending on the distance of your move, it can be quite a hassle to try to move them yourself. If you do find yourself left with excess perishables in the fridge and freezer, give them to a neighbor. And if you don’t want to pack up and move all of your canned goods (which also add weight to your move,) consider donating them to a food shelter.

 

5.      Investigate the waste management services at your new home. If possible, find out ahead of time what type of waste management services (trash, recycling, and yard waste) are available and when those pick-up days are scheduled. This way, you can put your items to be recycled out as soon as possible, and you can avoid having all of your trash sitting at your curb for days at a time.
Remember, when it comes to your move, go green! It’s our favorite color here at Sorensen Mayflower!