In modern times, most people are conscious of their carbon-foot print and want to do their bit to preserve the world we live in. So, why should this be any different when you move house? The very nature of relocating unfortunately requires resources which are not particularly environmentally friendly. At the one end of the scale, theres a mountain of paperwork to be signed, whilst at the other end, everyone in your chain will need to use large vehicles to transport their belongings from A-B. However, with a bit of thought and effort, there are things you can do to make the your house move as eco-friendly as possible.
1.Use Recycled Materials
Try to avoid buying new boxes. You should be able to collect some from your local shops and supermarkets. If you are using a removal company, and they are providing you with boxes, ask them if you can use some which are not brand new. We supply all of our customers with box packs as standard with each of our home removal packages. However, we also offer a free collection service too. Our aim is to use as many boxes as possible again. Any which are no longer usable will be stored and recycled in bulk.
You can also think outside the box (excuse the pun) when protecting your belongings during packing. Maximise the use of towels, scarves and bed linen to avoid using bubblewrap wherever possible. We use blankets which can be used over and over again and will save and reuse packing paper.
2. Don’t Throw Away – Donate!
This goes for all sorts of items, both large and small. Think about what can be listed on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, or FreeCycle. If you’d like to donate any furniture to charity, make sure you check what their guidelines are first. For instance, most sofas will need to have a fire safety label in order for charities to accept them.
It’s natural to get caught up in the excitement (or stress) of your own house move. But it could be worth sparing a thought for the homeless and how your move could actually help them. Instead of lining black bags with clothes and bedlinen, many homeless and refuge charities would be grateful for your unwanted items. In addition, whilst we recommend using up any items in your kitchen cupboards before you move house, is there anything which could be donated to your local food bank? Contact them to see what items they are low on and to see if you can help.
3. Cleaning Products
Chances are, you’re going to want to clean your current home before you leave, and your new property as you get settled in. Take a second to think about the many products you’d need to go out and buy first. There’ll be bottles of bleach, disinfectant and polish, not to mention packets of wipes and cloths. At the very least, make sure you check the labels on your products to see if/how they can be recycled. Not everything can be included with your household waste.
As you’re no doubt aware, there’s been a lot of news in the media about the dangers of single use plastic. Therefore, if you have the time, there are plenty of home-made ‘recipes‘ for cleaning product which use what you already have around the house. These may also be less harmful to the environment once flushed or emptied down the drain. Alternatively, if you would like to make the change to more eco-friendly cleaning in the long term, there are a growing number of refillable cleaning product companies on the market. Swapping your single-use, non-recyclable bottles for multi-use, delivered-to-your-door alternatives couldn’t be easier.
Vehicles and Vans
This aspect of your eco-friendly house move is perhaps the trickiest to control, but will have the biggest impact on the environment. If you are moving home by yourself, do some research into hiring an electric vehicle. We expect that more hire companies will offer this option over the next few years as electric vehicles become a) more popular b) technology improves. However, do consider the distance you are moving. If you have a long drive to your new home, this might not be a practical option.
If you are using a removal company then unfortunately you will have no control over the vehicles they already have. However, if you are concerned about your home move’s carbon foot print then they should have no problem letting you know which vehicles they use. On the other hand, any reputable moving company should consider their environmental impact when purchasing or leasing new vehicles. For instance, we recently upgraded our old van to one which is more fuel efficient and produces less Co2 emissions. Ensuring we purchased a more eco-friendly vehicle was amongst the top of our requirements.
Do you have your own eco-friendly house move top tips?
If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your own experiences and advice.