We all want to ensure a better world for future generations. That’s why recycling is so popular and why global warming is such a hotly debated topic. That’s also why Going Green has become a buzz phrase in almost every sector, and why commercial or residential moving services offer eco-friendly options.
But let’s not forget our own role in the whole movement. With each of our moves (and remember, that’s four times so far), we have made a concerted effort to reduce the amount of waste we create, and lower the carbon footprint we leave behind. My wife (a part-time eco-warrior while in college) has always insisted on using reusable plastic bins whenever possible.
The difference made might be small, but the potential is huge. In a 2011 survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professional, figures revealed that the average Canadian will own 4.5 to 5.5 homes in their lifetime – that means moving 4 or 5 times. And according to Mark Milke, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute and highly regarded Canadian social and political author, more and more Canadians are opting for life in the west, with Alberta gaining almost 61,000 young adults (25-34) between 2003 and 2012, while BC over 10,600.
These numbers are just a drop in the ocean, ignoring those that move within a state or across a city – if it’s any gauge, an average of 40 million US citizens move homes each year. Clearly, if everyone that completed a commercial or residential move made the effort to go green, the difference could be huge.
5 Tips for a Green Move
So, what can be done? Well, there are lots of decisions that can lessen your carbon footprint and help make your move greener. Here are just 5 of the most effective ones:
- Consider Your Packing Materials – I’ve already mentioned our own preference for Viktoria’s reusable plastic bins over cardboard boxes. The value to a green move is pretty obvious. It is reusable so creates no waste and with most typically made from recycled plastic resins, the carbon footprint in their manufacture is pretty low too. But the real value is in the dramatic reduction in waste materials after your move. The average residential moving project requires about 60 boxes for packing (estimated at about half a tonne of wood). If the average Canadian really does move 5 times in their lifetime, that’s 300 boxes and 2.5 tonnes of wood consumed. When you do use cardboard boxes, use second-hand ones. You can also reduce the amount of other packing materials that you use, like Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap and packing paper. Look for the biodegradable versions of these products.
- Check Your Moving Company’s Policy – There are many aspects to consider when choosing your moving company. One of them should be their commitment to providing green moving services. Different movers have different levels of commitment, so ask these 5 questions to assess their worth:
- Do they actively recycle?
- Do their trucks use bio diesel?
- Do they supply recyclable and reusable materials?
- Do they sell used boxes?
- Do have a buy-back policy?
- Recycle Your Unwanted Electronics – It’s surprising how many electronic items you discover when packing that are of little or no use. Maybe they are out of date or broken, but your new microwave, computer, Smartphone and iPad ensure they are of no use anymore. Instead of throwing them out, bring them to an e-waste recycler. Toronto already operates a successful e-waste curbside collection program, which you should make use of. Electronics are extremely recyclable, and are taken in practically any condition, so don’t worry about it. You can also go to a drop off location near you.
- Donate Instead of Dumping – There are so many items you find that you know you’ll never need again. These can be clothes, books, kids toys, and even furniture, bicycles and tricycles. Instead of dumping them, find a charity to donate to and give them a new life. There are dozens of charity stores looking for all kinds of everything to sell, like Goodwill or St Vincent de Paul or Thrift Town.
- Fuels Consumption Over Long Distances – If you’re facing a long distance moving project, then you may want to look into the actual carbon footprint all the travelling is going to create. The main culprit is fuel consumption, so it may be worthwhile checking out the fuel used by the mode of transport. For example, you can drive your car from Toronto to Vancouver or ship it via train, a mode of transport that is four-times more fuel efficient that the car itself. Also, according to EPA emissions calculations, a small moving truck can emit 6,500 lbs of CO2 over 3,000 miles, with a large truck emitting almost 12,000 lbs over the same distance. So, if you can reduce your stuff to fit one small truck that would make a big difference.
There is a lot more options to choose from that will help make your residential moving plan cleaner and greener for the environment. An infographic from MyMove.com makes for very interesting reading and may give you some more ideas, but the overall guide is pretty much “less is more” – less to move, less to store, less to dump.
SprintMover – Moving Company
Address : 1814 S Bundy Dr #10 , Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone : (888) 858-1511