Moving to a new house can be stressful and moving in a green way may be the least of your concerns on top of the whole long list of other things you have got to do before you move. However, moving house in an environmentally friendly way doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might initially think, and simple changes can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, making a positive difference to the environment.
Moving house is a great opportunity for you to get rid of any unwanted clutter that you have accumulated over the years. While this can be a long process and one which might not be very enjoyable, it is your chance at a fresh start – after all, there is very little point in transporting unwanted goods into your new home that are only going to gather dust for the next 10 years!
Be ruthless and eliminate everything that you don’t want. However, don’t be ruthless in the sense that you get rid of your possessions completely - recycle them, give them to a charity or sell them to people who might find more use for them. Perhaps arrange a car boot sale or yard sale a few weeks before the house move or if you prefer sell them online on websites like Gumtree and Ebay – you never know much money you might make. A bit of extra cash is always a bonus, especially with all the expenses that come with moving house. Recycling old possessions is a much greener option than just throwing them out. Furthermore, fewer possessions will require less vehicles to transport to your new home – reducing your carbon footprint even further.
If you can, get hold of any reusable containers to pack your belongings in because this is a much greener way to pack rather, than using cardboard boxes and tape (which can’t be recycled and takes a very long time to decompose). Ask any friends and family if they have any storage containers that you can borrow for the move, or perhaps find a company that offer a plastic box rental service.
If you are going to use cardboard boxes to pack your belongings in, then keep it green by going to your local store to see if they have any cardboard boxes that they no longer need. They will most likely have some spare and will be happy to give them away. You can collect them over time so that you have enough for all of your possessions.
Rather than using lots of bubble wrap, which causes a significant environmental problem by taking up space within landfills worldwide, use recyclable materials such as old newspapers and magazines to protect your more fragile possessions. Over the weeks, before the move, collect as many as possible – even offer to take them off the hands of neighbours, friends or perhaps your local convenience store. Alternatively, old cloth or your clothes will work just as well to protect any valuable items– so any of the clothes clutter that don’t sell or give to charity, save them and use them to protect your possessions.
Make sure that you complete some research to ensure that you choose an environmentally friendly removal company. With the environment becoming a major concern in today’s society, there are now loads or different removal companies around to choose from. Such companies will focus on using bio-fuel vans as well as smaller trucks that are more fuel friendly. For example, Abels international removals use vehicles that are built to have very little impact on the environment.
Finally, when it comes to cleaning both your old house and your new home, use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Did you know the average American uses roughly 25 gallons of toxic, hazardous chemical products every year in their home, of which a major portion of these can be found in household cleaning products. Not only do these cleaning products have a negative effect on the environment, but also on your health. Therefore, purchase ecological cleaning products from the supermarket, or alternatively use buckets of hot water with a splash of vinegar –you’ll be surprised how effectively this will clean things as well as protect the environment, your health and your wallet!
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