Guys, this is our fifth move in six years! I’m exhausted just thinking about all the packing and hauling boxes we have done throughout the years. Luckily, this will be our last move for a long time. I’m keeping that in mind to keep my stress in check.
But right now I’m taking a break, surrounded by a sea of boxes and packing tape, to share some moving and packing tips.
Of course, when you are mindful of the environment and your health, packing for you might look a little bit different than someone else. The waste, the resources, the pollution! I know, I know.
Some eco-friendliness goes out the window, but for the most part, you can stay pretty green while packing and moving.
Eco-Friendly Moving Tips
- Find used boxes to pack your households goods in.
Instead of wasting money on brand new boxes from the store, ask an employee if they have any boxes in the back that you can load your truck up with. Or, maybe you have a friend who recently moved that is more than happy for you to take these boxes of their hands. Friends may also have leftover packing tape you can have. In the end, this reduces a significant amount of waste! We have never purchased brand new boxes to move – in fact, we still have some boxes that have been through five moves with us! As long as they are still sturdy, they work for us.
- Think outside of the box.
Chances are, you have plastic totes and suitcases, right? Instead of packing those away, use them in place of boxes! Laundry baskets may even work. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative!
- Do it all in one trip.
During our last move, we rented a smaller truck and took several trips back and forth. At the time, we thought this was saving us money because the smaller truck was cheaper. However, we quickly realized how much gas we were burning (and pollution we were putting into the air) by taking multiple trips. For this move, we rented a larger truck (it was only slightly more expensive than the small truck!) and plan on moving everything in one go. This saves money and reduces pollution in the long run.
- Use things you already have for packing “paper”.
We have a bunch of old towels and linens that we used to pack away picture frames, vases, and other items. Reusable tote bags and t-shirts also make excellent packing material! I also saved the paper and plastic bags from my grocery trips (I’m embarrassed at how often I forget to bring my reusable bags with me to the store) to pack up our glasses and plates. Even the bags with tears in them will work! If you get the daily newspaper, that can be utilized for packing breakables as well. Save these items up months in advance, and you might not even have to think about purchasing packing paper.
- Avoid packing peanuts.
Packing peanuts are made from polystyrene. Polystyrene is a compound that is awful for the environment and your health. Don’t even bother with them, and use the packing paper alternatives listed above instead!
- De-clutter before the move.
Throughout our multiple moves, the military moved us twice, and this will be our third time doing it on our own. During our last move, I decided we needed to do a serious decluttering before our next move. Moving items you do not need, want, or use wastes so much time and resources! Plus, you’ll be able to rent a smaller truck when you don’t own as much stuff. The environment will thank you.
- After your move, give away your packing supplies.
Instead of throwing away your leftover tape, packing paper, and boxes – offer them free to a new home. Advertise through your local Facebook groups or ask your neighbors if they know anyone moving soon who can use these items.
- Pack healthy road-trip snacks.
For this move, we’re only moving an hour away. However, on those long moves several hours away or across country, you’ll obviously need some grub! Before you stop at a fast food joint…remember how terrible those places are for your heath and the environment. Boo on them for their use of factory farms which we can basically thank for global warming. Don’t even get me started on the pesticides, gross chemical additives, and all the waste they produce. Luckily, there are some delicious road trip snacks you can take along with you to stay on your healthy and eco-friendly path, like these Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bliss Balls!
Do you have any eco-friendly packing and moving tips to share?
Let me know in the comments! In the meantime, I’m off to pack some more…