Moving house can actually be harmful to the environment. Fuel emissions from moving trucks, the use of cardboard boxes, and the use of harsh cleaning products increase your carbon footprint and harm the environment. According to studies, it’s estimated that 60 boxes are used in an average move. This is the equivalent to half a one-tonne pine tree. As shocking as these numbers may be there are ways to make your move more eco-friendly. So whether your using a UK Real Estate Agent, selling your house yourself, downsizing or upsizing, this article will give you just a few tips to help you move house in a more eco friendly way.
Choose the Right Packing Materials
The materials you choose to use during your move can also affect how eco-friendly your move is. Cardboard boxes are an obvious problem since you buy them new and most likely dispose of them once you’re unpacked. The packing material you use to shield your breakables also pose a problem to the environment since most of it isn’t biodegradable. By choosing the right materials you can turn this environmentally harmful situation into an eco-friendly one.
First, try to find used moving boxes. Websites like Craigslist usually have ads for free used cardboard boxes or you can find leftover boxes at stores by their recycling bins or by asking management for them. If you’d like to steer clear of disposable boxes in general there are companies that offer reusable bins (all made from recycled plastic). When packing your boxes you’re probably used to using things like Styrofoam packing peanuts or plastic bubble-wrap. While these work great at protecting your breakables they aren’t as kind on the environment. There are eco-friendly packing supplies available for purchase, like packing peanuts made from cornstarch, recycled tape, and cushioning that is biodegradable, but you can also choose to use things like blankets, towels, and even clothes to wrap your breakables.
Not only should you revaluate the materials you use, you should also think about the vehicle you’re using for moving house. Make sure that you rent the right sized van or truck; if a 16-foot truck will do the job there is no need to rent a 22-foot truck that will use and emit more fuel. You can also look for trucks that run on biodiesel and choose to move during times of the day where there is no traffic that will cause the truck to idle for too long (like rush hour).
Rubbish Removal Over Skip Hires
Choosing to use a rubbish removal service over the usual skip hire can also be a more eco-friendly option. Any reusable items that you no longer want or need and couldn’t sell or donate will be passed on to people who may need it through a rubbish removal company. Everything else that the removal service collects from your home will be taken to recycling facilities instead of landfills. At those centres all materials will be recycled in any way possible or they’ll be used to produce fuel if they can’t be recycled (this kind of fuel is usually used as coal replacement). Nothing that is taken away through a rubbish removal service ends up in a landfill.
Green Cleaning Products
When you’re moving house you’re usually doing a lot of cleaning in the process, both of your old home and in your new home once there. Choose environmentally friendly cleaning products during this process. This will not only help the environment, it will also help your health since most chemical cleaning products can have adverse side effects on your body.
Most major retailers sell ecological cleaners but you can also make your own cleaning solutions using hot water and household products like white vinegar. This will save you from inhaling toxic fumes like bleach and ammonia, help eliminate strain on your wallet, and save the planet all at once.
James Richings is the author of this article
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