Reduce, Reuse, and recycle. Good buzz words, but also a good plan to follow if your goal is to move green.
Reduce: Go through your home room by room and decide what to take, what to give away to family and friends, what to sell or donate, and what to recycle or send to the landfill. Notice we listed the landfill last. By giving your stuff a second chance with someone new, you not only reduce waste, you also help save the energy and resources required to make new things (like toasters or bicycles or lawnmowers).
Reuse: For packing, use new boxes made from 100% recycled fibers, or better yet, use boxes that have already been used once before. Typically, we can re-use boxes at least 3 times before they lose their integrity, and that saves trees (like recycling), but it also saves the transportation and energy costs associated with recycling.
You can also use sheets, blankets, and towels to pad your fragile items, which saves on paper. If you’re packing glassware that can’t be stained by ink from newsprint, feel free to use newspapers to pack your dishes.
Recycle: If you’ve moved out of town and can’t return your boxes to us, or your boxes and packing paper can’t be reused, be sure to recycle. Packing paper, which is really just unprinted newspaper, can be recycled in receptacles for newspapers. (Unfortunately, tape and other products with glue or adhesives can’t be recycled.)
Also, consider using environmentally friendly cleaning products for move-out and move-in cleaning chores. Some recipes are below.
All-Purpose Household Cleaner
1 quart warm water, 1 tsp. liquid soap, 1 tsp. borax, squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar. This solution can be used for a multitude of cleaning jobs including countertops, floors, walls, rugs and upholstery.
Vinyl: 1⁄ 2 cup vinegar or 1⁄4 cup borax with 1 gallon water. Polish with club soda.
Wood: damp mop with mild vegetable oil soap.
Use mineral oil or mixture of 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp white vinegar and 1 qt. warm water; apply and wipe dry.
1⁄4 cup vinegar in 1 quart warm water.
And of course, consider hiring a moving company that uses 100% biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil (like us, hint, hint) to make your move extra green. And if you’d like to make your move carbon-neutral, consider our Tags for Miles program, too.