The topic of becoming a more eco-friendly nation continues to grow in popularity year on year. All members of the British public are actively encouraged to make even the smallest of lifestyle changes to help towards preserving our ever so treasured environment. It is imperative that we all contribute towards ‘green living’ to ensure that our future generations have the opportunity to enjoy nature at its finest.
Luckily, with the overwhelming number of resources available, almost every task we face can now incorporate environmentally friendly principles. Even the most tedious of tasks can be organised in a ‘kind to nature’ manner. With this in mind, as we spend our days accompanying lucky homeowners move house, we have devised a list of our top ten tips for eco friendly moving!
10 Top Tips For Eco Friendly Moving
No matter whether you have recently purchased your dream home, or alternatively, you are experienced homeowners either downsizing or upscaling your property, moving home can be somewhat stressful. With what feels as if a never-ending list of ‘to dos’, implementing small lifestyle changes to take a ‘kinder to nature’ approach is often disregarded. However, with a little extra planning and preparation, there are many different ways that you can slightly alter the moving process to lower both your waste and carbon footprint; all of which make the idea of an eco-friendly move a straightforward task.
1. Use Plastic Cover Alternatives
Plastic is one of the most harmful materials on the environment not only due to their incapability to decompose quickly, but also because of their unsustainability. There are hundreds of current global charities and organisations campaigning to reduce the use of plastic in packaging, so this should be your first consideration when packing.
The automatic protection for clothing and belongings when moving home is to purchase plastic sleeves, wraps and boxes; however, they are simply not necessary. Rather than wrapping valuable items in pre-made plastic protection, instead, use towels, blankets and thick clothing such as jackets. You may even want to consider investing in cotton zippered bags which can be used both during and after the moving process.
It is thought that bubble wrap could take up to 1,000 years to decompose, which means that it is vital if you do need to use extra protection, only to use biodegradable bubble wrap. Biodegradable bubble wrap serves the same level of cushioned packaging, however, will decompose in as little as 12 months leaving no harmful residue.
2. Do Not Throw Away, Donate!
According to the BBC, £140m worth of clothing is sent to landfill sites every year, at least 70% of these items could have been donated.
Donating old clothing, shoes and even furniture has never been easier, which means that there are no excuses for throwing items away. When clearing your home ready for packing, it is more than likely that you will come across many different belongings that are in perfect condition, yet no longer in use. All second-hand items that are in immaculate condition can be donated to charity for a second life.
With the hundreds of charities actively campaigning in the UK, you may want to consider taking time to research which organisation you would like to support the most. If there are more than one, then there is no harm in separating your items and donating a set to each worthy charity. Many charities such as The British Heart Foundation even offer free donation collections from your home.
3. Make Sure Mail Is Redirected
Don’t forget to remember that you will need to contact the Post Office to arrange for all of your mail to be redirected to your new address. Redirecting your mail is imperative to ensure that you do not miss any important documents and to prevent confidential information from falling into the wrong hands.
Forgetting to redirect your mail will also result in a tonne of old, unopened documents building up at your old property, essentially wasting paper. If you know that you are guilty of shredding and throwing away a high percentage of your post, then why not swap to paperless on as many bills as possible? Bills such as phone contracts along with bank statements can all be sent through email digitally as opposed to through mail. This way, not only will you be reducing your waste, but it will also heighten security on your personal details.
4. Use Free Moving Boxes
With the right research, we can guarantee that you will be able to track down enough free moving boxes to hold all of the belongings you need to pack up to move. Local retailers, in particular, will be sent deliveries of new products at least once a week, which means that they will tonnes of spare, almost brand new cardboard boxes you could use. Retailers would be more than happy to let you take old boxes off their hands as it means that they will no longer have the hassle of having to break down each box and send the set off for recycling.
Free moving boxes can also be tracked down online on Facebook Community Groups and FreeCycle. FreeCycle is a global non-profit organisation that helps to reduce waste by building online communities giving away free resources. Their website allows you to search for your postcode to find a local community which will be happy to help you to find free moving boxes.
After you’ve finished moving home, if your boxes are still in good condition and sturdy, always keep in mind that someone else may be in the same position you were and would appreciate your free moving boxes. If not, then they can be taken to your nearest recycling centre; this can be found on Recycle Now.
5. Visit Your Local Recycling Centre
Any old items that are no longer usable and cannot be donated for a second life can be gathered and taken to your local recycling centre. Although it may be a time-consuming job, separate your items into categories, for example, plastic, clothing and electronics so that they can be disposed of correctly.
If you are planning to recycle a large percentage of the old items from your home including things such as fridges, wardrobes or even flat-screen TV’s, you can arrange for your local council to pick them up. Particularly if you intend to hire a skip, you are not expected to be able to fit bulky items into your vehicle or do multiple trips. Your local council are likely to provide a household pick-up service, but this will need to be arranged in advance.
6. Pack Smart
Packing isn’t the most exciting task, so it can be easy to rush the process to try to get it done as quickly as possible. However, although it may seem like a bore, do spend time taking the ‘pack smart’ approach.
The majority of your belongings are a potential storage option. For example, cutlery can be wrapped in kitchen towels and put inside pots, then boxed away. Travel bags and suitcases are the perfect storage solution for your clothing as it cuts down the number of cardboard boxes you need to use for transportation. When packing each item, consider whether there is any room to squeeze another inside or around. Always remember, if you are going to take this approach, to ensure that items that will go in the same room are packed together, so unpacking will be a more straightforward task.
7. Use Eco Cleaning Products
Once you’re all packed away and ready to go, its time to use some elbow grease for the well-needed big clean before you move home. When cleaning your property, aim to avoid the use of products filled with harsh chemicals. Many cleaning products are filled with toxic ingredients, which may be able to help you to achieve a sparkling clean home quickly, but when washed away, will help marine life.
Alternatively, use natural, eco-friendly ingredients such as vinegar and lemon. Both will achieve an equally as successful job but are kinder to the environment. A combination of lemon and vinegar is ideal for cleaning anything from bathroom surfaces to kitchen flooring. For a full lemon vinegar cleaner recipe, head over to The Nourished Life.
8. Avoid Food Waste
Many homeowners do not consider the amount of food that will be wasted during the moving process. Fridges, freezers and kitchen cupboards will all need to be cleared before you move onto your next property. To avoid food waste, we suggest starting to empty all of the storage areas mentioned in advance and begin using up as many ingredients you can.
In the months leading up to your move, before you begin your weekly, fortnightly or monthly food shopping trip, thoroughly filter through your fridge, freezer or cupboards. Build a list of the necessities and aim only to purchase fresh food. Any jars or cans of food that you do not want to clutter your next home, but you do not have time to use, consider donating to your local Food Bank. You can find your local food bank by searching your postcode on The Trussell Group.
9. Switch To LED Bulbs
Utilising eco-friendly alternatives to your advantage doesn’t have to come to an end when you move into your new property, there are many different ways that you start as you mean to go on in your new home.
One of the best ways to begin building an environmentally friendly household is to switch to LED lightbulbs when you move in. Just one LED lightbulb is capable of maintaining a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours costing you just £19 a year to fuel, and only requires 5 watts of power.
When disposing of old standard lightbulbs, they, unfortunately, are somewhat tricky to recycle. Your regular light bulbs cannot be put in your recycling bin at home; however, if you take them to IKEA, they run a recycling programme which can help to do this for you.
10. Purchase Energy Efficient Products
Another way to help to build an eco-friendly home is when you do need to purchase new appliances, opt for those that are energy efficient. The majority of electrical appliances, from fridges to televisions, come alongside an energy rating. An energy rating categorises appliances by their efficiency in order of A to B. Those that are grade A are the most efficient and any that are towards grade G are the least efficient.
Make Moving Home Kind To The Environment!
Moving home can be somewhat stressful, particularly if you also have the extra pressure of balancing your work and social life alongside the process. However, with careful planning and extra research, it becomes an easy task to utilise our top moving hacks to ensure that you can enjoy moving home while taking a ‘kind to nature’ approach. There is nothing wrong with enlisting the help of professionals to take the weight off your shoulders. Our man and van in Kensington are always happy to help safely transport all of your belongings to your new home; we can guarantee that you will be in safe hands!