Sometimes we can’t always travel and the realities of life catch up with us. Yet we can still be green in everything we do, not just when we’re travelling the world for a stretch at a time.
When you are trying to be earth friendly as you move, it can bring another level of stress akin to that of short-term travel. Green relocating does not mean you have to pack all your belongings in bamboo leaves and transport them in electric vehicles. However, there are several easy ways to make your moving experience more eco-friendly.
Green moving simply means being aware of your environment and moving your belongings in a way that is not harmful to the earth. It means reducing, recycling and even employing movers who have taken steps to be more earth-friendly as a business.
Reducing Before the Move
The less stuff you have, the less there is to move to your new location. This is rule number one not of just green travelling but also of moving itself.
Before your move, hold a garage or yard sale to eliminate things from your home you no longer use or need. Stuff that is not sold, donate to a charity. Old, heavy electronics are especially great for donating. These charities are among the best for taking your 1970s tube TV’s. The fewer items you have to move, the less gas your moving truck will burn, which is more earth-friendly. In addition, you will save money. The less your movers have to load and move, the more money you can save.
Recycling Before, During and After the Move
If you are already in the habit of recycling, great, you should have no problem incorporating recycling habits into your relocation abroad. Many movers offer used cardboard boxes at a reduced rate. Some offer these recycled boxes free when you sign a moving contract. You also can find sturdy cardboard boxes ideal for moving at local grocery stores. Your best bet for finding free recycled boxes is smaller, locally owned businesses. After the move and all is unpacked, flatten the boxes and take to a recycling center. Some areas have companies that rent moving crates. These are reusable and can be more eco-friendly than even recycled cardboard boxes. Recycle old newspaper, using it to wrap various items instead of plastic bubble wrap. Old pillowcases, sheets, towels and even t-shirts also can be used in place of bubble wrap. However, be sure fragile items are well protected.
Any time you pack up one residence and make the move to
another, there is cleaning to be done. Help keep this part of the move eco-friendly by using green cleaning supplies. You can purchase green cleaners at the store or even make your own. White vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. It removes mildew, cuts grease and leaves windows and mirrors streak-free. It can even remove some stains from carpet; however, always do a colorfast test in an inconspicuous place before trying any stain removal. A mixture of one-half cup vinegar, one-quarter cup baking soda and one-half gallon warm water makes a cleaning product perfect for you to tackle tubs, showers and sinks. Forget harsh chemicals; make that garbage disposal smell fresh by placing one-quarter of a lemon rind into it and grinding the lemon. If the odors are strong, you may have to repeat the process. Opt for cloth towels instead of paper when cleaning to reduce your paper usage and save money.
A green move doesn’t have to be stressful or involve any more work than a regular move. With a little planning and know-how, anyone can make their relocation – and their travels abroad – easily eco-friendly.
Felicia Baratz-Savage is a travel blogger and writer that contributes regularly to Cooks & Travel Books.