Research shows that the average family of four moving from a four bedroom house will require 124 medium to extra large boxes, 12 picture boxes, 8 wardrobe boxes, 18 lbs of packing paper, 120 feet of bubble wrap, 480 feet of stretch wrap, and four rolls of tape. Phew! Not only will the packing supplies cost you approximately $680, but how will you dispose of all of these boxes and supplies when you’re done moving in? It’s a lot of money and landfill waste to just toss out. If you’re thinking about green moving, then here are some ways to save money and the environment.
Eco-Friendly Moving Boxes
It’s easy to go to your local moving company or hardware store to purchase new cardboard boxes, but this can get expensive and there’s a lot of cardboard to discard after the move. There are plenty of other, better options for finding and using green moving boxes – some of them even make the whole process easier:
- Box Rental Companies: we’ve put together a list of moving box rental companies that offer plastic bins in major cities so that you can minimize your carbon footprint. You just share how many rooms that you need to pack up and they’ll drop off the bins at your home when you need them. They’ll even pick the bins up at the new location when you’re finished unpacking. It’s good for the environment and saves you precious time.
- Used Boxes: There are plenty of places that you can get used boxes. If your work has a cafeteria on site, they probably have large boxes that their food supplies arrive in that you can get for free. Grocery stores generally have sturdy banana or fruit boxes in the back that you can also request for free (just be sure to wrap your items to protect them from any stains or fruit juices that might have been left behind). If these options don’t work, look into ordering boxes from UsedCardboardBoxes.com. They rescue boxes from large retailers and then inspect and sort them to be re-used. Their prices are affordable and they offer free shipping to residential addresses in just 1-2 days.
- Packing Tape Bonus: To seal those boxes, try EcoEnclose’s packing tape that is entirely plant-derived, renewable, and naturally biodegradable.
- Storage Bins: Moving is the perfect time to organize your garage, outdoor sheds, playrooms and more. Think about purchasing large, plastic storage bins that you can use long term and that will keep you organized in your new home. For example, clear Sterilite 70 Quart Ultra Latch Boxes are great for storing paint supplies, hand-me-down clothes, Christmas decorations and so much more.
Eco-Friendly Packing Material
That last thing we want to see when we unpack is broken dishes or shattered pictures. Packing material is a must, but you can use eco friendly options like these:
- The Stuff You Already Own: Towels, blankets, and sheets all make great packing material. These are especially helpful when wrapping dishes or platters because unlike newspaper or other chemically treated papers, you won’t need to rewash everything.
- Bubble Wrap Alternatives: While few things are as fun as popping bubble wrap, it’s not the best choice for green living. Try greenwrap, paper shred, and corrugated bubble wrap from EcoEnclose instead. These paper-based products offer the cushioning your fragile items need but are made from recycled materials. You can also request free samples to ensure that the supplies meet your standards before you order large quantities.
- Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: Instead of their plastic predecessors, modern day eco friendly packing peanuts are made from wheat or corn starch, decompose in water, and leave no toxic wastes behind.
Other Ways to Practice Green Moving
There are so many more ways to be considerate to the environment while moving. You might want to try:
- Using Amtrak to Move: It can save you money while reducing emissions into the air. Amtrak has a strong sustainability program that focuses on recycling, fuel efficiency, and being environmentally compliant according to various state and local laws.
- Downsizing: Donate what you no longer use to a local charity or give away cherished possessions to friends and family members. Transporting less items means fewer packing materials and requires a smaller moving truck which uses less fuel.
- Re-Selling Your Moving Boxes – Want to make money AND help the environment? Try BoxCycle. Not only can you buy used boxes from this site, but you can sell your boxes when you’re finished unpacking.
- Recycling as Much as You Can – As a last option, recycle boxes that are worn out or packing material that is no longer usable. Check with your new city’s recycling program to see what items they accept and sort the materials accordingly. Fortunately, most cardboard and packing paper can be recycled with your curbside recycling program or at your local recycling facility.
Book a Dolly to help transport items to your local charity or to deliver your worn packing supplies to the recycling center. Instead of adding more carbon into the air by renting a truck and driving yourself, trust one of our truck-owning, local Helpers to take care of your moving needs. Moving takes a lot of time and planning, but with a little effort, you can make important choices that go a long way towards helping your move go smoothly while also protecting the environment.