Moving can be difficult and not only for you and your family, but also for the environment. All those packing peanuts can add up and can be devastating on the environment. In fact, environmental data resources show that polystyrene, the material that packing peanuts are made out of, is the world’s 5th largest contributor to worldwide pollution. Not to mention all the cardboard boxes and old electronics that will most likely end up in an overseas landfill. Yet, there are a number of ways to relocate that won’t be so damaging on the environment, but also won’t cause you anymore added stress either. Here are the top 5 environmentally friendly relocation tips.
- Use recycled boxes to pack your items. Why pay for brand new packing supplies when you can go to your local market and get sturdy, used boxes and other materials that will be more than sufficient to pack your valuables. Not only are these items free, but they are also good for the environment. Cardboard is a big contributor to the world’s waste and is not often recycled. You might also be able to recycle old boxes that are already stacked up in your garage.
- Donate your old items instead of just throwing them away. This is especially important when it comes to electronics. Not only is this the most ethical and generous thing to do with your old speakers, TV, or radio, especially if the items are in working condition, but also old electronics wind up going to landfills and can negatively effect the earth’s groundwater. Electronics contain dangerous chemicals that could be incredibly harmful if they leak out. In addition, many of our old electronics are broken down and then shipped overseas to be dumped in the ocean or incinerated, which can release incredibly toxic fumes into the atmosphere.
- If you clean your home or apartment before you vacate, clean with environmentally friendly cleaners. You can just as easily clean bathroom tiles and kitchen cabinets with a vinegar solution that has just the same amount of germ fighting powers as bleach. If you are trying to clean stains out of carpets, just mix baking soda with water and you’ve got a great stain-fighting agent.
- Cut down the amount of driving by renting out a large van or truck that can fit more of your stuff. The truck might not have great gas mileage, but at least you aren’t making multiple trips between your old residence and your new one. If you want to relocate the green way, reduce the amount of transportation that is done when you are actually doing the moving.
- Lastly, when all is said and done, make sure to recycle all your packing materials and boxes. If you do happen to have packing peanuts you can always save them and make an art project out of them later. You also might be able to donate them to a local personal mailbox and shipping facility. At the end of the day, relocating can be tough on the environment and you, but it doesn’t have to be.