Updated: Jun 16
Everything we do has an environmental impact. Moving is no exception, so try to move as gently as possible. What can I do, you may ask, to reduce the carbon footprint of my next move? Here are some suggestions to green it up.
First of all, consider reducing the amount of stuff you have to move. It takes fuel to power whatever vehicle you are using for transport, so moving less stuff means using less gas means fewer carbon emissions. Before your move, purge whatever you don’t want or use anymore. Give things away: to friends, to family, or to charitable organizations. Sell things online (Facebook Marketplace or kijiji.ca, for example) or in a yard sale, weather permitting. To have less food to move, concentrate on eating up what you have in the fridge and freezer in the days and weeks before your move.
Once you’ve purged, it’s time to pack. See if your family and friends have moving supplies you can borrow. Think about using eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of using only cardboard boxes, you could rent reusable plastic bins. YFCV offers rental bins for only $1 per bin per day (https://www.yfcv.ca/supplies/moving-supplies/rental-moving-bins) and rental wardrobe boxes for $10 per day (https://www.yfcv.ca/supplies/moving-supplies/rental-wardrobe-boxes). Many household items will also help you to pack in a greener way. Look around your home for things that can serve as packing containers. Pack suitcases with the clothes that you will need for the first days after your move. Pack pots with other kitchen items. See if you’ve kept any of the boxes that your household belongings arrived in. Rather than packing towels, sheets, blankets, T-shirts, and sweaters, use them to wrap and protect fragile items and reduce the need to use less environmentally friendly options like bubble wrap. Finally, consider having the professionals from YFCV pack your belongings: they know how to maximize your packing space with less waste (https://www.yfcv.ca/packing-unpacking).
On moving day, continue your efforts. If you have Martha Stewart level organizational skills, prepare ready to microwave meals to eat in your new home. If you are mere mortals, like most of us, you’ll probably rely on take-out food. As you pack, prepare a first-day kitchen kit with plates and cutlery to avoid using disposable plates and plastic cutlery.
After your move, continue “greening”. Recycle packing materials by offering them to friends and family or to others online. Someone out there is moving and will be happy to take them off your hands. Look at ways to make your new home more energy efficient: the Government of Canada provides many suggestions for making “small changes that add up” throughout your home (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-small-changes-add/21850). A new home is a fresh start. Make it green!