Get an (Environmental) Move On!



Moving kit  Moving from one home to another is not a low-impact activity. If you're relocating from one coast to the other, you could use as much as 120 pounds of cardboard and generate 5,000 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide. Even moving from one side of your state to another could have a 500-pound carbon impact, given the fuel burned by moving vans and the resources you use to pack up all your stuff. 

How can you make you move more eco and less yecch?

• Don't move what you don't need; to unload unnecessary stuff, donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army; have a yard sale; freecycle.

• Save newspapers in advance of your move to use as packing paper.

• Pick up discarded boxes from local stores.

• Pack things in suitcases or containers you are also moving to save space and reduce the number of throwaway boxes you use.

• Use the right size truck. A too-larger truck wastes energy. A truck that's too small may need to make too many trips.

• Recycle boxes and packing materials after you unpack.

SUPPLIES
 
These environmentally-friendly packing materials will help make your move greener:

• Recopack – from rentagreenbox.com: 100% recycled plastic boxes come in 3 sizes that can be rented for 14 days. They're delivered and picked up by a truck that runs on waste vegetable oils and bio-fuel and using dollies made from recycled soda cans
o $299 for 100 boxes for 2 week period ($99 per extra week)
o Zip-ties made from 100% recycled plastic eliminate need for packing tape

Eco box • Ecobox – sells used boxes in various shapes and sizes; they also sell moving "kits" with enough boxes and tape to accommodate anything from a 1-bedroom apartment to a 4-bedroom house. 
o No minimum order
o Same day, low cost shipping

Frogbox • FrogBox – British Columbia and Puget Sound, WA

o  A lot like Recopack; just local to the Pacific Northwest

Used cardboard boxes • UsedCardboardBoxes.com
o Sells all sizes of used boxes, though "brand new" packing tape and bubble wrap
o Free shipping for any of its kits, ranging from a studio or dorm room to a 10 bedroom home or comparable office space
 

MOVING COMPANIES

• Green Wheels Van Lines
o For personal, corporate, government/military, or international moves
o Will deliver recycled packing materials to your door
o Uses alternative energy 
o Approved as a SmartWay Partner by the EPA
 
• Green Movers USA
o Aims to be a network of all moving companies that use eco-friendly practices
o Awards movers one-four trees, depending on their efforts to reduce waste, save gas, and use alternative fuels

 
Gogreen moving • Go Green Moving Co.
o Based in southern California, uses bio-fuel in trucks
o Provides rentable crates
o Uses 100% recycled plastic moving pads

NOTE: Green Van Lines claims it makes the world greener "one move at a time," but there's no evidence on its website that the company uses energy-efficient or alterntively fueled vehicles, or supplies its customers with recycled packing materials that minimize waste.

Have you moved recently? Let us know what you did to make it eco.

By Katie Kelleher

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11 Responses to Get an (Environmental) Move On!

  1. Allison July 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    This is an excellent article. I am planning on moving in the six months and will take your advice to heart.
    http://www.alagala.com
    http://www.alagalablogspot.com

  2. spencer Brown July 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Hi and thanks for the blog mention. We are the creators of the zero waste move and made from 100% recycled plastic trash. We also are compiling the largest free green moving resource section in the world- all for free!
    Check us out at rentagreenbox.com!
    Spencer Brown
    founder and inventor of the Recopack

  3. Bianca July 15, 2009 at 6:17 am #

    These are great tips! I plan on moving at the end of the month and again in December and EcoBox sounds like an excellent idea. I have always used suitcases to move my things and if I’m not moving too far, I will just leave all of my clothes on the hangers and in the drawers and just throw them in the car like that. I have a lot of friends who are moving also and I will definitely spread the word.

  4. Kye July 15, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    I appreciate the advice. My parents will be moving in the near future and I will definitely mention EcoBox. There are always duffel bags you can use that are made of 100% recyclable material as well!
    - Kye, ecologicalpromos.com

  5. Kate July 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    These are all very helpful tips. Whenever I move, I always get my boxes from the local liquor store. They are large and sturdy so they can carry a lot, plus it is a great way to reuse!

  6. Kerry Coates July 23, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    A tip I learned years ago — use your towels and sheets to pack with to save on the newspapers and other packing material. I also use my t-shirts and other wash and wear clothing. It not only saves on packing material, it saves on the number of boxes I use!
    http://www.tre-gnld.com

  7. Diane MacEachern August 9, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Thanks for sharing your own tips on eco-moving! I particularly like the one about using towels and sheets to pack more delicate stuff. Saves paper and reduces waste, too!

  8. Ash Sud October 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Great article Katie. Moving is a really wasteful process and its important for consumers to be educated on how they can reduce the resources used. Using as little resources as possible is always the best.
    Believing I could help people reduce the amount of cardboard used during their move, I’ve started a company called ZippGo that helps people move green by providing reusable green moving boxes and delivering it to their homes. Our boxes are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic and can be used 500 times before they are recycled into new boxes. We deliver and pick up our boxes on truck using biofuel that is locally produced. Please include us in any future articles about green moving.
    Thank you,
    Ash Sud
    Founder of Zippgo
    http://www.ZippGo.com

  9. Diane MacEachern October 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Thanks so much, Ash. I’m glad to know about Zippgo.

  10. movers boston May 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Great tips, worth reading.. When you move, you are going to have a huge impact on the environment. The best thing to do is to hire a Green Moving company to move your belongings, you are taking a positive step in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting an innovative local business at the same time.

  11. Boxes March 19, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    As the owner of a moving company I must say that all of these resources are very beneficial for having a smooth move.

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