When you start making your to-do moving list you may notice that the carbon footprints can really add up. But making a move doesn’t have to be so hard on the environment. In honor of World Environmental Day we’ve put together our top tips on how to pack green and make the least impact during a move.
Green Up the Packing
Did you know that it takes 28,560,000 trees to make all the cardboard boxes that are used in moves in just a single year? But that’s just the tip of the eco iceberg. Those same cardboard boxes also require:
- 132,720,000 gallons of oil
- 11,760,000,000 gallons of water
- 70,560,000,000 kW of energy
Each move averages 60 cardboard boxes, which equates to a ½ ton tree. Starting to rethink the cardboard?
Square Cow Movers is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint with green moving options. That’s why we’ve partnered up with BungoBox on many of our jobs. Don Alexander the owner is all about giving movers packing options that are more eco-friendly than cardboard. BungoBox has a number of sturdy, plastic, reusable containers that can be rented for a fraction of what cardboard boxes cost. They’ll bring them to you, you can take as much time as you need to pack them up, then once your done using them BungoBox will come get the boxes from your new location. You’ll save green by using green packing containers.
If you have to use cardboard look for recycled boxes that people are giving away on Craigslist, and make sure to do the same when you’re done with your own move.
But what about the rest of the packing materials? The plastic bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts? Once these are unpacked at the end of the move they’ll just end up wasting space in a landfill. Instead opt for biodegradable packing materials that will break down over time. The literally green peanuts are made from cornstarch or vegetable oil. As for the bubble wrap it can be replaced by a recycled paper called Geami Wrap.
You can also use things from around your house instead of packing materials. Towels, blankets and even winter coats can be used to cushion fragile items, plus you’ll be doing twice the packing at once.
Minimize the Impact with the Moving Truck
The more trips you have to take in the moving truck the more fossil fuels you’ll burn. The first step to minimizing the number of trips you need to take is by getting an adequately sized truck and packing it efficiently.
Before you begin packing minimize what will need to be moved by cleaning house. Go through everything and get rid of anything that is broken or you don’t need anymore. But don’t trash anything unless you absolutely have to. Instead donate, sell and give items away.
Now attack packing the boxes into the truck strategically. When you use a moving company like Square Cow Movers the pros will know the absolute best way to pack the truck so that no space is wasted. But if you’re doing it on your own here are a few tips:
- Create a plan before you start packing.
- Pack as much as you can into reusable containers or recycled cardboard boxes. It will make packing up the truck much more efficient and easy.
- Dissemble pieces of furniture like tables so they take up less space.
- Use the attic space – this is the cubbyhole that’s over the cab of the truck. If it’s big enough place a couch or other bulky items in the space.
- Fit couches and loveseats together – put the couch in first with the back against the wall that backs to the truck cab. Next flip the loveseat upside down so that the headrests are sitting in seats of the couch and vice versa.
- Working your way from the front to the back of the truck stacking from floor to ceiling. Put large furniture and appliances in first. Then put the heaviest items on bottom and get lighter as you go up.
It’s also a good idea to plan out your route so that you not only go the shortest distance, but also minimize the idling time. No matter what kind of gas-guzzler you’re in they all get zero MPG while idling in traffic or at lights. For big trucks the best way to get the best gas mileage is to stick to roads between 30-50 MPG that have as little idling instances as possible.
Making a green move is possible when you use the right materials and a responsible moving company. Give Square Cow Movers a call today if you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint during a move.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/61423903@N06/8739354086