In 2020, ignoring the climate crisis really is not an option. While we trust that you are doing your bit, we also imagine that the environment is not your greatest concern amidst your house removal. We are here to change that by showing you how to have a sustainable house move.
Did you know? On average, moving house emits a whopping 17 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. While moving house is an imperative, and we recognise cancelling your move altogether is simply not an option, why not try and shave a few kilos off that total by following the simple tips outlined below. Remember, being more eco-friendly means greater efficiency, and greater efficiency means saving time and money. That’s killing not two, but three birds with one stone!
Before Your Move
A sustainable house move requires you to start off on the right tracks, and get your eco-hat on well in advance of your actual moving date. The following steps show you how.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Moving Company
Bet you did not even know that such a thing exists! While there are of course limits to how sustainable a removal company can be, there is no doubt that some try to do their bit more than others. Reward those who do for their efforts, and when requesting quotes, or researching your removal company, consider this a factor in your selection process.
The key things to look for when working out whether a removal company endorses eco-friendly behaviours are:
- Do they practice corporate social responsibility?
- Do they carbon offset some of their emissions?
- Do they drive eco-friendly vehicles?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it gives you some pointers to start selecting a sustainable mover. Need a bit more guidance? Sirelo’s list of top eight international moving companies considers corporate social responsibility as a deciding factor in who made the cut!
Reduce Your Load
Thinking of bringing your neglected armchair? Or the lamp collecting dust in the cupboard? Think again – that isn’t the route to a sustainable house move.. Naturally, the greater the volume of your move, the more carbon dioxide emissions it will emit, and equally the more expensive it will be. It therefore goes without saying, that reducing your load is essential to ensure both a sustainable and budget-friendly move.
You may think we are contradicting ourselves a little here, but stay with us. So you have been ruthless in selecting what furniture to bring with you, and now you are stuck with mountains of unwanted goods. Rather than taking these to landfill, think about doing one or some of the following things instead:
- Sell it! Save the environment and make money at the same time? A double win. There are many platforms in which to sell second-hand goods. Anything that is in good enough condition is worth finding a new home for.
- If you can afford it, an even better option is to donate any unwanted furniture to a charity shop. Alternatively, there are NGOs dedicated to collecting and redistributing unwanted furniture to vulnerable people. If you are strapped for time, they will often do the legwork for you.
- Even if certain items of yours are damaged beyond repair or use, many people fancy their hands at upcycling. Wooden furniture in particular can be useful, so donate your furniture to a creative and watch your old side table transform!
During Your Move
If you have managed to be sustainable up to this point, you are doing incredibly well. But the hard work does not stop just yet. The following measures will help you ensure that you keep up the good work throughout the moving process.
So you have managed to narrow down what to bring with you on your adventure, but there are also ways you can pack those that made the cut in a sustainable manner. Consider some of the following:
- Second-hand boxes. Why not have a look to see if you can source boxes that have already been used. Given that the price of moving boxes can add up, you will save some money along the way too.
- Minimise packing materials. Think twice before you buy heaps of bubble-wrap and other padding materials. Why not use blankets, towels and scarves instead? Another way to cut back on both your moving expenses and carbon emissions.
At this point, your efficiently packed, reused boxes are safely packed and ready to go. If you are moving yourself, think about the best way to avoid multiple trips in your vehicle, again reducing both petrol costs and emissions. Sensing a theme here?
If you and your boxes are parting ways, and a removal company is taking care of them, you will still have to get yourself to your new home. If possible, avoid flying. We know this is not always an option, so if jumping on an aeroplane is the only viable option, think about carbon offsetting your flight, if you can afford to do so.
After Your Move
Start good habits in your new home, and think carefully about how to reduce your carbon footprint, both immediately after your move and in the weeks, months and years to come. We have outlined some of the ways you can do this below:
- Go paperless. We imagine that your house move has been somewhat plagued with exhausting amounts of admin. Moving often requires you to get in touch with you bank, doctor and many other services, in order to change your address. While doing this, why not also opt to go paperless? May as well, while you are at it.
- Buy second-hand furniture. What goes around comes around, quite literally! Replace all that furniture you so generously sold and donated with someone else’s unwanted goods. Both charity shops and platforms such as Facebook Marketplace often have real steals!
- Choose eco-friendly utility providers. Much like you did when selecting a removal company, ensure your new utility providers have eco-friendly policies. This is becoming more and more common, so it should not be too difficult to find.
First of all, congratulations! Moving house is no mean feat, and you seem well on your way to making it success and a sustaniable house move. Remember, every little helps; we know implementing all of these tips into your move may seem overwhelming, but even just a couple can go a long way to help save our planet.