making a move

Moving is an expensive, tiring and time-consuming process. But at least sometimes it can be green. With a little advance planning and a lasting determination, your move can have a smaller impact on the environment.

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When packing, don't buy new cardboard boxes - obtain some from your office or from a local grocery store or other retail store. Many of them will allow you to take boxes for free (or for a very small cost). And get creative! You can leave clothing in dresser drawers, or pack items in suitcases or duffel bags. You have to move them already; why not pull double duty?

And don't buy packing materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts, use what you have! Newspapers, old magazines, junk mail, t-shirts, scarves leftover packing material from online orders - all make great stuffing. And if you use clothing, then you're saving space by packing them in with breakable items.

Moving is a good time to pare down your belongings so you move only the things that actually matter. If you're getting rid of a lot of things, don't just throw it all in the trash. Donate what others can use, recycle what's accepted, and only then, throw away what's trash.

And once you're in your new place and are busy unpacking and emptying the boxes, make sure to break them down and recycle them. Unpacking and putting away can get hectic, especially if you have a group of people helping out, but let them know from the beginning that there's a separate place for recyclables and ask them to use it. You can even mark one empty box as a makeshift recycling bin.

If you're in a place that has curbside recycling, find out how to get a bin if there isn't already one, and then find out what day pickup is. If you're somewhere that doesn't have recycling, find out how you can recycle - whether it's at a drop-off point or there's a dumpster nearby.

The more materials you can minimize while moving, the better! Pack strategically and use items you already have to cushion breakables, and you'll be able to cut down on the amount of boxes and bubble wrap/styrofoam needed. Pair that with cutting down on your possessions and you'll have less to move in the first place, which will also cut down on headaches!

Next week I'll feature some ways to be green once you're in your new place!

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