5 Easy ways to make your move more eco-friendly

Amy on

Recycle sign.Let’s face it: most of us have reached a point in our lives where we’re feeling the tug of responsibility for managing our carbon footprint. While moving, we purge our lives of unwanted stuff, and generate piles of trash, packing materials, and items we no longer want -- and we're never more aware of how much stuff we have, and how little we've actually used.

Luckily, the guilt isn't inevitable. These days, it is possible to relocate with green living in mind, and according to a few of our past customers, some of the new options actually make it quite convenient to make earth-saving choices.

Here are our tips for how to make your next major move as eco-friendly as possible.

Reduce, reuse & recycle... your closet.

Staring down your wardrobe and wondering where in the world all those clothes came from, and why you haven’t worn half of them in a blue moon (or two)? Instead of packing up those wardrobe boxes and taking them to the next closet where they’ll just sit, unused, for eons, do a cutthroat audit. Donate old clothing to a local shelter or non-profit organization that could truly benefit from it. Then, take those worn-out kicks to a Nike dropoff location; they recycle any brand of athletic shoes -- not just their own -- into public playground surfaces and basketball courts through their Reuse a Shoe program.

Kick the cardboard.

If you're moving locally, there’s no need to waste a metric ton of cardboard. These days, we have alternatives like EZ Bins in the greater New York area and Rent-a-Crate in 13 other locations around the US. Have plastic packing crates delivered and picked up whenever you choose, sidestep the guilt of killing all those trees, and skip the awful process of tearing down boxes and figuring out where to dispose of them properly. Even if you give cardboard boxes to someone who needs them for a move of their own, they’ll generally last four moves at best. Plastic bins last up to 500. Easy math.

Toss that tired tech.

Got a late-90s desktop monitor, a couple of decade-old Blackberries and random stereo equipment sitting around... and zero desire to haul it all with you to your new place? Send it to obsolescent tech heaven -- i.e., recycle them -- instead of relegating it to a sad, eternal landfill grave. This CNET article gives great tips on finding a reputable recycler for all your gadgets from days gone by.

Clean green.

This one’s as basic as it gets. Nontoxic, earth-friendly cleaning supplies are kinder to your skin and lungs, the groundwater wherever you are, and the environment in general, thanks to their recycled packaging and lack of sketchy ingredients. Consider brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and, in some cases, good old-fashioned baking soda and water. Because sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones.

Pick your place.

Moving long distance to somewhere that’s not, say, in the heart of Manhattan? If you’ve got some leeway in terms of choosing your new neighborhood, check its walk score and see how feasible it is to live relatively free of cars, cabs and public transport. Choose a spot higher than 90 for a super-walkable, bikeable (do people still rollerblade?) community. Both the earth and your blood pressure will thank you.


Check out more eco-friendly moving advice and packing tips from Moveline, a radically easier way to move.