Living in a different country, far away from where you spent your childhood is hard, to say the least. I know this firsthand, as I grew up in Australia and ended up falling in love and marrying a New Yorker. While my husband is very accustomed to New York City life, I admit to finding it challenging at times. Lately it seems more difficult with overwhelming feelings of missing my home, my family, my friends and just wanting to see familiar things. I think this is because my Son is growing so fast, and there is much I wish he could be experiencing living in the beautiful country I call home.
With these thoughts in mind, I started thinking about how one can move in a “greener” kind of way, whether that is a few blocks down the Street, or to the other side of the world?
Moving is one of those life experiences that tend to be stressful, not just for people but for our Planet too. Lowering one’s carbon footprint is not looking so good with endless boxes, rolls and rolls of packing tape and plastic wrap sitting in front of you. Not to mention, what about the fuel to transport all of your worldly possessions to your new location? The waste leftover has a detrimental effect on our environment, and although we all have to move at some point during our lives, there are ways for it to have less of an impact on Mother Nature.
Preparing to Move
Set aside some time to choose your eco-friendly items to help with the move,
- Moving Boxes, use cardboard boxes which are made from recycled material, or containers made from sustainable sources. If you are looking for recycled and the most affordable moving boxes in Australia check out the Moving Box Co for options.
Even better if you can pick some discarded boxes up and reuse them from your local supermarket.
In the United States and Canada, consider a company like LifeBox who offer boxes which contain tree seeds, when you’ve finished moving just put the boxes in the ground, and wait for the area to bloom. Genius!
- Packing Tape, you may choose to use a tape which does not use hot melt adhesive as the sticky part, and is made from biodegradable and recyclable materials. Generally, hot melt adhesive uses petroleum-based ingredients which are shipped in from the Middle East, according to The Binding Edge, it is also an energy-intensive process.
Another option is using tape which is made more of plant-based materials.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid standard plastic tape at all costs as it takes a long time to biodegrade, if at all.
- Packing Materials, have a look around your home and see what you already have to start. Newspapers, magazines and blankets can all be used to wrap and protect items.
Otherwise, use green packing peanuts which are made from plant materials and are biodegradable.
Shredded paper instead of plastic wrap is another way to go “green” with your move. Plastic wrap is also troublesome if it ends up littering our Earth rather than being put in a landfill. Hundreds of thousands of innocent animals die each year, because of plastic being caught on their bodies or suffocating them, at least with paper these creatures have a better chance of surviving.
- Marker Pens are a necessity when moving, to write the contents of the box on the outside thus no need for additional labels. Choose a brand that is non-toxic like these from the Ultimate Green Store.
If you are moving locally, hire a vehicle that can transport your possessions in as few trips as possible. The more trips that you have to do, the more fuel being burnt. A preferred alternative is finding a vehicle that is a hybrid. Or, use a truck which runs on biofuel, which is fuel made from renewable sources like plant-based oils. If you are moving across country, consider using a train which on average uses 4 times less fuel than a truck over the same distance.
After Your Move
When you have moved to your new home, you are going to be left with a lot of packing materials and possible empty boxes. Rather than just throw these away, try and find another use for them. Cardboard boxes can be used for storage, or give them to children to play with in the garden.
Ideally we are all becoming more environmentally conscious in everything that we do, and with these tips, you can also make your next move a little “greener” than it may have been otherwise.
Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.