Tips to reducing your environmental footprint when moving
We’re all slowly coming around to an important revelation… We need to take better care of the world we live in. Previous generations may have been able to bury their heads in the sand, but in the digital era, we’re too well informed to turn a blind eye to it any longer. As our population grows, we’re burning through our planet’s finite resources more and more rapidly. The UN has already warned that unless we change our ways, we could reach and irreversible state of climate change. Indeed, no less a personage than the late Stephen Hawking hypothesised that we could render the planet completely uninhabitable within a century.
In the face of such dire environmental straits, what can we do to avert such a scary ecological disaster. Well, it turns out we can actually do quite a lot.
Home is where the green heart is!
The good news is that our consumer and lifestyle choices can go a long way towards offsetting that damage. We may feel that we can only do so much as individuals or as households, and that any difference that we make would be pretty inconsequential. But if we all pull together, all the little changes that we make can add up to big change. Many of us are aware of the ways in which we can make our homes more environmentally friendly and reduce our carbon footprint as a household. Everything from composting your foot waste to choosing a more sustainable material for your loft insulation can make a big difference to the environmental impact of your household. In fact, moving to a new property is a great way to lower your environmental footprint (and probably save some money, too). Newer build homes tend to be built with energy efficiency and eco-consciousness in mind. Of course, newer homes are free from environmentally damaging and dangerous materials like asbestos, lead or cadmium. What’s more, they’re likely to have more energy efficient windows, doors, cavity wall insulation and roofing. The less energy you use, the less finite resources your household needs to burn through to generate energy.
Moving onwards and upwards
But what about the moving process itself? Are there any ways in which eco-conscious households can reduce their environmental footprint while moving into their new dream home? With a little ingenuity and knowhow, you can massively reduce the ecological cost of your move, whether you’re moving locally, to a new town or city or even to a new state. If you’re a business owner looking to move offices, a more sustainable move here can go a long way towards reinforcing your company’s green credentials. And in an age where consumers are increasingly gravitating towards businesses that operate sustainably, a little effort here can go a long way. Here are some ideas for a cleaner, greener home or office move. Don’t worry, none of them will require much more work or add to the already considerable stress of moving home…
A green move starts in the kitchen
Have you ever moved home and, as you’re clearing out your belongings, thought to yourself “Where on Earth did all this pasta / rice come from?”. Dry goods and tinned foods seldom come with us when we move and end up getting wasted. Even when they do come with us, they can end up taking up finite storage space and contributing to the overall weight of your move (more on that. shortly). A week prior to moving, set yourself a challenge. Cut back on your supermarket shop and try to create a weeks’ worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners using the items that have been sitting unused on your pantry shelves for months. You’ll save money and possibly discover a new favourite dish, all while contributing to a greener and cleaner move. Speaking of waste…
Throw less stuff away
For many households, moving to a new home is a great opportunity to get rid of old and unwanted items that you won’t want to take with you, but never quite got around to discarding. However, performing this clearout sooner rather than later can help you to get rid of your unwanted stuff in much more environmentally friendly ways. Leave it until the last minute and your unwanted belongings will inevitably end up in landfill waste. This can cause them to have a detrimental impact on the planet, especially if you’re throwing away old electronics (which can leach harmful compounds like lead, chromium or cadmium into our oceans and damage our ecosystem). If moving offices, contact a local e-waste specialist to get rid of old computers, printers, scanners etc. which have been phased out of regular use and will not be coming with you.
Carrying out a thorough audit of your home well in advance of your move, however, can allow you to get rid of your old belongings in much more sustainable ways. Take them to your local recycling depot, give them away to friends or family, stick them up on eBay or better yet, take them to your local charity shop. Everything is of value to someone. Remember the old saying about how one person’s trash is their neighbour’s treasure.
Why buy to box?
Never throw away what you can recycle… But never recycle what you can reuse! Most house moves require a large amount of boxes, but how you source them can make your move a lot more ethical and environmentally sound. Instead of buying brand new moving boxes which you use once and then throw in the recycling, try and find a local company which redistributes used moving boxes. And if you can’t find one… Just visit your local supermarket or convenience store and ask if you can have first pick of their bigger boxes before they’re recycled. This will give these disposable items a longer useful life before they’re recycled. Yet, they’ll still be strong, stable and fit for purpose.
Be as careful as possible with your belongings
This pretty much goes without saying, but while nobody actively intends to damage their own property when moving, even small bouts of carelessness can transform treasured household belongings into… well, waste! Any items that are damaged or broken in transit on moving day will inevitably wind up as landfill a few days later.
Of course, when choosing a interstate moving company, you’ll also need to make sure that they have a reputation of handling their customers’ belongings with the utmost care, delicacy and professionalism. As experienced interstate movers, we handle all of your belongings with the highest standard of professional care to ensure that they are not lost or damaged during the process. Nonetheless, you can help us enormously by clearly marking boxes containing fragile items and ensuring that delicate belongings are packaged in tightly with a sustainable material like old newspapers or biodegradable bubble wrap to reduce their movement in transit.
Repurpose your belongings for more sustainable packing
Speaking of biodegradable bubble wrap, the packaging world has moved along leaps and bounds in recent years. An increase in biodegradable and sustainably sourced materials has massively reduced the need (if not the market) for single use plastics in the removals industry. However, repurposing is always preferable to recycling. Try and find ways to repurpose your belongings to facilitate a greener move. For example, don’t use cardboard boxes until you’ve first packed every suitcase, sports bag, overnight bag and holdall as tightly as you can with belongings. Refrain from using old newspapers or bubble wrap to cushion fragile valuables until you’ve first used rolled up socks and clothes.
Manage your weight
A lighter move is a greener move. The more weight you’re carrying, the harder the vehicle has to work to overcome the natural inertia caused by its weight and the greater the vehicle’s rolling distance. This means that the engines, the brakes and the tyres need to work harder. This in turn means more fossil fuel consumption and more brake dust and rubber particles are released into the environment (and the lungs of passers by). As such, be sure to take whatever steps you can to reduce the weight of your move.
When auditing your home for belongings that you’d rather not take with you to your new home, it’s common to think purely in terms of the small things. However, don’t be afraid to say your goodbyes to bulkier and heavier items that you feel have outlived their usefulness. Getting rid of these prior to moving can reduce both the cost and the ecological impact of your move. Plus, when you get rid of these items sustainably, it further improves your move’s green credentials. This brings us to…
Re-home old furniture
Your move to a new home may be the right time to wave goodbye to the futon that never gets used. Or to bid a fond farewell to the battered armchair that has seen you through many a Game of Thrones marathon, but simply won’t be at home in your new property’s aesthetic. But while these items may not make the cut to join you in your new home, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be of value to someone. There are a great many people out there (especially young people on the bottom rung of the career ladder) who can’t afford to buy brand new furniture and would consider your old furniture an irresistible bargain.
Advertise your old furniture on Gumtree or eBay or simply contact local charity shops to see if they can arrange a free collection for your old furniture. You might make a little money from it and it’s a far more environmentally friendly option than trashing it. Synthetic fibres found in a lot of furniture can also leach harmful compounds into the oceans when disposed of in landfills.
No matter where you’re moving from or to, it’s likely that you’ll need to leave your old home in perfect condition, ready for a new owner or tenant to move right on in. If you currently rent your property it will likely be a part of your tenancy agreement that you ensure the property is spotlessly cleaned before a new occupant moves in to your house or apartment.
Whether you perform the cleaning duties yourself or outsource them to a professional, this is another great opportunity to reduce the ecological impact of your move. Commercial cleaning products may be great for maintaining a clean and tidy home, but they’re notoriously lousy for the environment. Many cleaning agents use harsh chemicals and bleaches which are then released through our drains into the water system where they can have an incremental but profound effect on the environment. Some compounds are toxic to fish and marine mammals, while others may accelerate plant growth and make the habitat of wild animals untenable.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need expensive and ecologically damaging cleaning products for a clean and tidy home, but that simply isn’t the case. We’ve been told that we need one product for floors, another for bathroom furniture, another for surfaces and another for windows and there’s no truth in that either. In fact, most things can be cleaned with a combination of equal parts water and spirit vinegar with a dash of lemon juice and some essential oils for a nice scent.
Even stubborn bathroom or kitchen mould can be shifted with a paste made from water, spirit vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. In the vast majority of domestic cleans, there’s absolutely no need to resort to the use of bleach and other harsh chemicals.
Find cleaner ways to enjoy the local takeaway in your new home
When you first move in, you’re unlikely to be using the kitchen for a day or two until everything is unpacked and in its place. You’ll likely see this as an excellent opportunity / excuse to sample the gastronomic delights of nearby takeaways in your new home. And while we would hate to stand in the way of this noble tradition, there are also opportunities to make your move greener here, too.
For example, ask your local takeaway if they can package your food in recyclable or biodegradable materials. Order locally so that the drivers use less fuel to get to you. Better yet, if possible order using a service like Deliveroo which typically uses cyclists rather than motorists to facilitate deliveries in urban areas.
Even the food you order itself can help you to put your best foot forward, ecologically, in your new home. For example, meat and especially beef requires enormous amounts of water, land and feed to get to your plate. Even dairy products have a pretty sizeable carbon footprint. In fact, animal agriculture as a whole creates more CO2 emissions than the entire transportation industry.
With this in mind, try to order dishes with more veggies and less of everything else. Asian foods like Chinese or Thai are a good example of this, where meat is used sparingly and alongside healthy portions of rice, noodles and veggies.
Choose the right moving company
When all’s said and done, there’s only so much you can contribute to making your move greener. A huge part of a more environmentally friendly move lies with choosing the right moving company. Some carriers operate in more sustainable ways than others. There are a number of ways in which removals specialists can reduce the environmental costs of their operations including the use of more sustainable fuels and lower-emission vehicles.
Another environmentally beneficial exercise is backloading; combining jobs to reduce wasted vehicle space and therefore reduce the number of times a vehicle needs to go back and forth. When handling interstate mones, especially, some removals vehicles can travel hundreds and hundreds of miles with a lot of wasted space. While it takes a little organisation and planning, backloading can greatly reduce the environmental impact of long-distance and interstate moves. Choosing a company that offers backloading not only speaks to their environmental conscience, it also means that they’re well organised and managed!
As an experienced interstate movers, we know how to make every square meter of vehicle space count to reduce waste and facilitate greener and more affordable long-distance moves.
How we can help
As highly experienced interstate movers, we know a thing or two about cutting the environmental cost of our operations. We know how important sustainability and an ecological conscience are to our customers and we strive to make our moving services as green and environmentally friendly as they are professional and cost efficient. We offer backloading removals for more affordable and ecologically sound moves, even over long distances. Our meticulous professional packing and unpacking services help to ensure that your belongings don’t become waste while in our care. Our experienced movers can even help to collapse and rebuild furniture to ensure that space is optimally used and the risk of furniture damage in transit is significantly reduced.
What’s more, we also strive to offer unparalleled customer care, outstanding value for money and professionalism that our competitors simply can’t match. Don’t take our word for it. Just check out our customer reviews!
If you want to place your move in the hands of a company that values the world we live in as much as it values you, the customer, click here to get to know us a little better.
Looking for removalists Sydney to Melbourne? As professional Interstate removalists, We ensure that the process is as seamless and fast as possible.