The Eco-Friendly Guide to Sustainable Moving

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There’s a lot to think about when you’re facing a big move – from logistics and the practical side of moving all your possessions from one house to another, to the admin involved and the emotional upheaval of relocating.

One area of the moving industry, which is growing in prominence, is sustainability – specifically how homeowners can ensure that their move is both smooth and as environmentally friendly as possible.

In this blog, we’re covering some of the most common eco-friendly moving practices, focussing on the importance of a moving company with sustainable credentials, how to reduce waste, and what you can do to lessen – rather than increase – your carbon footprint.

But first, why is it important to share these sustainability tips for moving house?

Why is sustainable moving an important topic to discuss?

Moving house isn’t just a one-day or one-weekend event. While it might feel like the main bulk of the work is done in a short period of time – and while you may argue that you only drive from points A to B once or twice and so the carbon emissions from travel are low – moving puts a huge strain on the environment in terms of waste.

And we don’t just mean in terms of your approach to furniture and possessions that you no longer want. Waste is also created in the mass of packaging that you use to box up your things; in the plastic that you surround all your valuable items with; and even in the products that you use to clean your vacant property and your new home prior to moving.

4 ways to practice eco-friendly moving

The following tips are all built around quick and easy actions that you can take to minimize your eco footprint both in the run-up to, and during, your next move.

1. Don’t throw things away, even if you want to leave them behind

This is a point with two separate parts. The first focuses on the need to move without clutter, thus granting you a waste-free move, where your new home is somewhat of a blank canvas that you can build and make your own over time.

The second focuses on what you do with all the possessions and things that you don’t want to move with you. It’s all too easy to pick up an extra roll of bin bags or even hire a skip to rid yourself of unwanted items and furnishings – however, there are various more sustainable methods you can and should explore.

These include but are not limited to:

·        Offering these things to friends and family members to see if they would like anything

·        Upcycling or recycling elements of furnishing to make something new that you will use or keep

·        Donating furniture to a charity shop or to a community project in need of donations

·        Sell the item and boost your moving cash reserves

In short, if you don’t need it in your new home then find a new home for it before moving day, so that it can be granted a new lease of life rather than just discarded and thrown away.

2. Reconsider how much bubble wrap you need – and source recycled boxes

This point has more to do with the practical aspects of your move – boxes, packaging, and bubble wrap.

Despite bubble wrap in particular being a valuable asset in securing and protecting all your fragile possessions, there are ways of protecting these things without relying on rolls of plastic. For example, why not use your own clothes and other fabrics as an alternative, or stuff boxes with reusable bags and other linens to create the same soft barrier effect.

Similarly, sourcing boxes from a local retailer, or asking friends and family to store delivery boxes that they receive in the months leading up to your move, can alleviate the need to buy brand-new packing boxes. This form of recycling is a good way to increase the sustainability of your move.

And you can donate the boxes to the next person you know who is moving, to keep the cycle going.

3. Use sustainable cleaning products

During the moving process, you will likely need to stock up on cleaning products so you can leave your vacant property clean and give your new home a clean before bringing in your possessions. Opting for green and eco-friendly cleaning products will protect the environment around you – with these greener products also often better for pets and your own health.

If you decide to outsource this cleaning, find a company that uses sustainable products where possible.

4. Talk with your moving company about sustainability

If sustainability and securing an eco-friendly move matters to you, then you need to find a moving company that cares about the same issues and is willing to follow them.

There are a multitude of small decisions and changes that moving companies can make to their practice which instantly elevates their environmental credentials. Just some of the things to look out for and ask about include virtual house tours and surveys rather than in-person visits, how the company identifies the best route from point A to B, and how fuel-efficient their vehicles are.

Make your move as green as possible

Moving house is never a walk in the park – but with the right decisions and plenty of planning, you can strive to make it as green, as fuel efficient, and as eco-friendly as possible.

For more details on our own approach to sustainability during a house or commercial move, and to find out how we ensure that the environment is protected from the arrival of our first quote through to the moving day, get in touch with the team directly. Here at A Swift Move, we have worked hard to create a series of policies and initiatives that enable our clients to conduct an eco-friendly move. Ask us about it, and find out about our availability online.

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