How to move house eco style
Moving into a new house or apartment is exciting. The actual part of packing up and hauling your belongings across the city, however, isn’t. Not only are there a bunch of hidden expenses when it comes to moving, but it’s also not the most environmentally-friendly thing you could be doing (especially if you’re wrapping up breakables and going through the normal packing motions that go hand-in-hand with moving). Here are a few ways that you can make your Moving Day a big greener:
Get sustainable moving boxes
Invest in eco-friendly reusable plastic moving boxes instead of picking up cardboard boxes at the grocery store. The utility crates and boxes come in different sizes and you can always use them for storage in the garage or sell them after the move.
Donate to charity
It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to cleaning out your closets, drawers, garage and cupboards. When you’re moving, this spring cleaning process is inevitable. Instead of moving all your unused clothes, utensils and other belongings from A to B, keep a box aside that you can donate to charity. You’ll be reducing your carbon emissions from the truck (seeing as you will have less stuff to move) and you will also reduce the amount of stuff that ends up in landfills or unused in your new cupboards.
Check out Freecycle to find a non-profit organisation in your area if you don’t already have a preferred charity.
The super DIY route
Renting a moving truck is pretty expensive seeing as they usually charge a flat-rate for the day, regardless of how far you’re moving. If you’re only moving up the street or to a neighbouring suburb, you could easily move your entire house without renting a moving truck. Cut back on those carbon emissions by asking a few friends and family members to help you move with bicycle trailers and crates on wheels. You could even make the day pretty enjoyable by making snacks and catching up with your pals.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
One of the great things about moving into a new house is letting your imagination run wild. Even people who aren’t decorating fundi’s start thinking about new colour schemes, curtains and furniture. If you need to buy new things for your home, go the sustainable route by either buying organic cotton furniture or throws, towels and mats, or check out second hand stores so that you’re buying used products.
There are also many things you can do to upcycle your old stuff. Just because you’re a bit tired of your couches, ottomans and curtains, doesn’t mean you necessarily need new stuff. Use sustainable dyes to change or enhance the colour of your furniture and pillows; try whitewashing to give old wooden cupboards and drawers a new look and get creative to give older items a funky makeover.
A lot of our retail stores import products from China. Instead of contributing to the pollution that goes along with shipping products from overseas, buy from local artisans. Check out classified sites like Gumtree and take a weekend to browse through antique stores, craft markets and second hand furniture stores in your city.
Revamping and moving
If you’re moving into a home that needs a lot of work, you’ve got a lot of options. Kitchen cabinets, for example, should be made from responsibly forested wood. The great thing about sustainable kitchen cabinets (which are free of toxic glues and painted with sustainable paint) is that their prices are comparable to conventional kitchen cabinets.
Buying new furniture is fun, but if you’re set on buying new stuff, consider furniture made from bamboo and other more sustainable sources. Virtually any type of decorating item, from curtains and wall paper to flooring and countertops, has a greener, more eco-friendly alternative. Getting more creative and being more resourceful is what needs to happen to move house eco style.