Global warming, plastic contamination, rising sea levels – these headlines keep popping up more and more.  The arrival of a new decade should bring in a new wave of thinking and, more importantly, action.  Climate change isn’t new news.  But what we do to help our planet and environment can be. 

Moving is stressful enough on people, so let’s alleviate some of that stress on the environment, too.  Here are five eco-friendly moving tips that are good for our planet (not to mention your wallet).

1. Donate or Sell Extra Items

When you’re preparing to move, you find out just how much of a hoarder you are.  Random stuff just seems to appear, and you can’t remember where most of it came from.  Most of us want to get rid of this excess as fast as possible, so we throw it in the trash, adding another layer to the mountainous landfill.  Instead, take the time to donate or sell your things!  How great would it be to make some extra cash amid the chaos to counter all the money that you’re spending on that new house?  Set up a yard sale, download one of those selling apps like Letgo, or list your things on Ebay. And if you can’t sell it, then donate it.  A lot of schools and teachers are looking for old keyboards, props for plays or random items they can use in their programs, and they are very grateful for donations.  Take a load to Goodwill and your things can be reused – the sustainable way. 

2. Get Creative with Packing Solutions

Before you go out and spend unnecessary money on boxes, take a moment and think about all the storage you already have in your current residence.  How many boxes do you already have hiding in your garage?  Ever thought about filling up your cooler?  Instead of packing your suitcases once and procrastinating to unpack them, pack then unpack your suitcases right away so you can reuse them each trip.  Drawers pose a safety concern, because they can fall out while being moved, if not secured shut. So, any piece of furniture with drawers needs to have them removed.   If you keep items inside the drawers, they become extremely heavy all together in one dresser.  Take each drawer out and fill it up individually and boom – you’ve got makeshift boxes.  You could also fill up laundry hampers, your reusable grocery bags, picnic baskets or beach bags.

3. Keep the Original Packaging

A lot of bulkier items that end up being difficult to pack already came in a perfectly fitted box.  Blenders, hair dryers, food processors, pots and pans, your precious Keurig, TVs – they all came in move-ready boxes and even have stuffing or other packing elements inside that keeps them secure and protected.  If you have the room, keep those boxes.  You never know when you might need them. 

4. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Not only are green cleaning supplies safer for the environment, they are safer for you and your family.  Harsh chemicals emit toxins in the air that can even disrupt your respiratory system.  When you clean out your old house and begin to clean your new one, use biodegradable brands such as Aubrey Organics, Earth Choice, Ecover or Method.  These will keep harmful chemicals out of the ecosystem and out of your lungs.

5. Store Boxes Throughout the Year

We know storage can vary, whether you own a condo, rent an apartment, or have a large house.  Saving big boxes can be a particular hassle if you are in a small space with limited storage.  Even so, try to keep a few cardboard boxes.  You never know when you might need them. If you have a garage, create a dedicated space to keep them.  If you own a small condo or townhouse, then collapse the boxes and slide them underneath your bed or behind the washing machine.  Once that moving day comes, take out some packing tape and put them together.  This saves time and money.

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