How To Green Your Move

?How To Green Your Move

About 40 million people move every year. (U. S. Census Bureau, 2005-2006)

Millions of individual moves generate millions of driving hours and truck mileages consuming millions of gallons of diesel and tons of packing materials.

The outcome is harmful to the environment: Pollution, waste filling up our landfills and massive consumption of non friendly energy.

We should all make effort to green our move. Although your move seems like a small step, 40,000,000 green moves every year will have a great impact on our planet.

Three simple steps to green your move:

Step 1: Green Preparations

Step 2: Green Packing & Moving

Step 3: After the move

Step 1: Green Preparations [reduce, reuse, recycle]

We all have unwanted items. This step will assist you in getting rid of them the [green] right way and save money on your move. Remember, the fewer items you have, the smaller your move is = less moving cost.

About a month before you plan to move, go through your house, apartment or office and list all your unwanted items.

Divide the list to groups, for example:

[furniture], [electronics], [computers], [clothes and linen], [disks, DVDs and records], [books, magazines], [documents].

Now, as you have the list, try to make the most out of it:

Make some money. sell your stuff:

1. have a yard sale or an apartment sale

2. take pictures and email to your friends, neighbors and colleges

3. use your networking skills to spread the word

4. use online websites like ebay, craigslist 

Do some good. donate:

You can donate many of your unwanted items to goodwill and charity organizations.

1. contact your local charity organization: the salvation army , red cross, homeless shelters, women and children shelters and others

2. search for charity online

3. use to learn more about your charity


Recycling means taking a product or material at the end of its useful life and turning it into a usable raw material to make another product. Here you can find information about how, why and what to recycle.

Another fun way to recycle is posting your items at a volunteer-driven Internet movement committed to the notion that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. It is a free cycle of giving, which keeps good things out of landfills, reduces waste and saves resources.

Junk removal

If you still have unwanted items you may have junk removal companies take them.

Make sure to contract a green junk removal company. They should either donate or recycle. As a last resort they will dump your items to the dumpster.

Step 2: Green Packing & Moving:

usually there are three types of moves: locally (within the same state or less than 150 miles), interstate (across the country or over 150 miles) and overseas.

Although the moving process is a little different, no matter where you plan to move you have to begin with packing, protecting and preparing your shipment.

Green Packing – [pack, protect, prepare]

Packing your items the [green] right way will save you money. Professional packing will protect your items from damage during the move and reduce the size of your shipment and your moving cost.

The idea of green packing is to pack your items with:

[used and recyclable packing materials]

[stuff that you already have like plastic containers, blankets, towels]

[instead of new boxes and petroleum based products like bubble wrap, shrink wrap].

Regarding safety, my suggestion is that you pack the items you can by yourself and let professional packers do the rest while using earth friendly materials.

How to get used boxes?

1. ask friends, family, co-workers and other people in your network if they have any from their last move.

2. local stores.

3. local companies which receive shipment and items regularly.

4. buy online. Search for used boxes or used packing materials.

5. you may also have professional packers pack your shipment]. Make sure your packing company is green, earth friendly and follows the principals of green packing.

Green Moving:

Moving your shipment from your old location to the new one is the essence of your move. Whether you move across the street, across the country or to the other side of the globe, make sure you have a green, earth friendly and energy efficient move.

When hiring a mover make sure you choose a green, earth friendly and energy efficient company which follows some basic ground rules:

[less trips, less energy. choose the right size of truck for your move, avoid unnecessary mileage].

if you have a small move (studio or 1 BR) a small size truck 18ft or 20ft will be enough. If you have a 2-3 BR apartment ask for a 24ft truck. Bigger size of houses requires bigger trucks 26ft or 28ft or even tractor trailers (48ft or 53ft). Please consult with your mover what size is appropriate for your move.

[use alternative earth friendly energy like biodiesel for the trucks]

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made which is primarily made from any vegetable or animal oil source. In the United States the most common source is soybean oil. Waste vegetable oil (left over from deep fryers) can also be used.

[efficient logistic – consolidate shipments]

if you move across the country your mover should practice green logistics by efficiently consolidating shipments to save energy and delivery your shipment on time.

Step 3: After the move

in the next couple of days you will probably unpack the rest of the boxes and put every item in place.

When you done, you will have used boxes and other packing materials:

[used boxes in good shape – reusable]

you can keep for your next move, find someone who needs them for his or her move, find a moving company which will take your used boxes or recycle them.

[used tapes, bubble wrap and other plastic materials]

recycle. Do not just dump them.

Want to do more?

[Clean you house, apartment, office the green way]

your should green your cleaning as a way of living (not only after the move).

There are many resources and websites on green cleaning. Here is a couple: Green Living (Healthy solutions, real impact).

Healthy Home, Nontoxic Cleaning

How to Green Your Cleaning

by Team Treehugger, Worldwide on 01.30.07

TH Exclusives (how to green your life)

[carbon offsetting]

offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by paying for emission reduction to take place elsewhere instead of reducing your own emissions.

carbon offsets generally refer to voluntary acts by individuals or companies that are arranged by commercial or not-for-profit carbon-offset providers.

Until recently, most carbon offsets were commonly done by planting trees. currently, a wide variety of offset methods are in use – renewable energy, energy conservation and methane capture offsets have become popular.

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