You got your new job in your dream city and it’s finally time to move!
Probably you are already considering the most effective, faster and cheaper options and hopefully, eco-friendly relocation solutions. Many people are shocked when they realise the amount of plastic and disposable material that creeps into their lives during a move. Rubbish comes in the form of bubble wrap, paper, cardboard boxes and tape – and rubbish goes out: mattresses, old papers, you name the rest.
The good news? With a little planning and ingenuity, there is a better, cleaner and, most importantly, more sustainable way to move – and it’s actually quite easier than you think!
To support the theme of "Our Planet, Our Health" on World Health Day this year, here we list some easy ways to avoid waste and environmental damage when packing and moving for your new career start abroad.
Less is more
This is the most obvious answer, but if you can achieve this before you actually move it’s even better. Take stock of what you already own to avoid bringing unnecessary or duplicate items into your new home. Start downsizing as early as possible. Consider joining the sharing economy instead of accumulating more things: Use the library, borrow movies from streaming services, borrow tools from local tool libraries or ask your neighbours for single-use needs.
Sell or donate
Re-evaluate all your belongings and find ways to donate or sell the things you actually don’t need or in Marie Kondo’s words “the ones that don’t sparkle joy”. Besides the recycling fact, you’ll make a lot of people very happy with their new possessions at the same time. Feed two birds with one scone!
Check your local recycling services
For electronics, check different recycling websites for local e-waste programmes and shops that offer electronics recycling.
Order reusable moving boxes
The very best thing you can do when moving is to rent reusable boxes. To prevent the waste of paper, get yourself some recyclable boxes. Most companies offer heavy-duty plastic moving boxes in a variety of sizes, including clothing boxes.
Collect used boxes from local shops
If you have time, contact your local wine shops and hardware stores and arrange to collect their boxes for new deliveries. There are many benefits of it: The boxes will be free; the reinforced cardboard (for transporting heavy bottles) is good for packaging, and you’ll be adding another step to the life cycle of the boxes before they go to the recycling centre.
Use eco-friendly alternatives instead of conventional packaging
Before you go out and get some biodegradable packaging materials (because that too has an impact on the environment), use what you already have on hand: Re-use newspapers, T-shirts, tea towels and bath towels. They will also need packaging, so why wouldn’t you use them instead? For example, use them for things that don’t need bubble wrap, like silverware or stainless steel.
Pack smarter for an eco-friendly relocation
Consider everything in your apartment/house as a potential container. Pack kitchen utensils in a pot instead of just stuffing the inside with paper, and turn pot lids upside down to stack them. Use packing as an opportunity to invent new hacks, and you’ll be surprised at what you come up with. Don’t forget to share your genius hacks with us!
Use alternatives to plastic covers
Instead of those huge, heavy plastic covers for mattresses and upholstered furniture, use muslin fabric or a painter’s cloth – things you’ll use in other ways after the move: a painter’s cloth as a picnic blanket, old muslin as an outdoor tablecloth or to make rags.
Cut old clothes and linen and give them a new life: rags!
You know the drill: For a move, kitchen towels are #1 on the shopping list. Instead of paper towels or buying new ones, you can use tattered old clothes and cut them into square rags so you still have something to use and reuse.
How did you find our eco-friendly relocation tips for your next move? The new starts are exciting anyway but by making it while contributing to environmental sustainability your excitement in your new life will be doubled. Do you have any other ideas? Share with us!
Enjoy your new home!