Like a lot of people, I have become much more environmentally conscious in the last several years. I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without my reusable water bottle, I work hard to recycle whenever it’s possible, and I Green Travel as best that I can. I happily made the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. I’ve even started a compost pile in my yard. Accordingly, when it came time to move, I wanted to be as environmentally responsible as possible. It’s easy to lose sight of eco-friendly practices in the midst of such a monumental event as moving households and possessions eco-friendly. However, just thinking about all of the irresponsible mistakes I could make gave me pause. Surely there were steps I could take that would help to preserve the environment and still allow for an efficient, relatively stress free move.
Packing Possessions Eco-Friendly
A little forethought was definitely in order. I began by going through my possessions, making rather ruthless decisions regarding what I would keep and what wouldn’t make it onto the moving van. This is important for a number of reasons. First, whittling down the number of my possessions means I can move into a smaller, more energy efficient home. Second, it means I would need fewer packing supplies. Third, I would be able to utilize a smaller moving van. Finally, keeping fewer items meant being able to donate a number of things and save the best ‘Green’ there is MONEY!
While it was tempting to just chuck everything I wouldn’t be keeping, I think the idea of donating is a smart one. It keeps things out of the landfill and gives items a second life. Just because I haven’t used a certain thing in more than a year doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t find it useful. Even if things could not be donated, I went the extra mile to recycle things like electronics. I was already ensuring a more environmentally friendly move.
Next, I needed to acquire packing materials. Going with good quality cardboard boxes seemed like the ideal way to go. I deliberately set out to find cardboard boxes made from a good percentage of recycled material. Luckily, that isn’t hard to do in this day and age. Determined to save some money and be environmentally responsible, I decided to gather as many previously used cartons as possible. I asked some friends who had recently moved to give their boxes to me. Other boxes I picked up just by asking at the grocery store. I did end up buying a few boxes, but they were all constructed with recycled material. At the end of my move, I’ll reuse or recycle all of the boxes.
Packing material to protect delicate items was another major environmental concern. No way was I going to use Styrofoam packing peanuts. I also didn’t want to use newspapers. Although it’s a responsible way to reuse an item, newsprint can transfer onto the items it’s packed with. The solution was to make use of blankets and towels I already owned. They are ideal for protecting even my most precious pieces. I didn’t have quite enough packing material, so I invested in some packing peanuts that were made from recycled newspaper without the pesky ink. Peanuts can also be made from environmentally friendly cornstarch, and those are a good alternative as well.
Storing Possessions Eco-Friendly at Self-Storage Facility
I knew that I was going to need some self-storage space for at least a little while after my move. That’s one of the reasons why I used good quality boxes. I didn’t want to take a chance with them disintegrating and possibly ruining my possessions, which might mean they would end up in a landfill. Of course, good boxes are just the beginning. I also had some pretty tough rules for the self-storage facility I chose.
The facility needed to be insulated. Unlike an unfinished basement or an outdoor shed, I wanted my self-storage unit to be fully protected from the elements. Again, this protects my items and ensures that they don’t clutter up the landfill. I was also choosy about the lighting in the facility. I wanted to not only make certain that they used energy efficient bulbs, but also that they were on some kind of timer or motion sensor device. Even better, I was hoping to find a facility that featured solar power or some other kind of alternative energy source. These useful precautions save tons of energy every year and waste as little as possible. Before moving items into the facility, I carefully reviewed the rules about prohibited items. I wanted to make certain that I didn’t store anything that might be hazardous and potentially harm the other things I was storing.
While moving is rarely headache free, I felt like this move went smoothly. F+N Worldwide is highly experienced and knowledgeable international removal and storage company that was vital in assisting me with my eco-friendly goal. I’m glad I took the time to be environmentally conscious, especially as I believe it saved me time and money as well.