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Eco-friendly tips for moving house

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21 Aug 2013

Every household has a different reason for moving, but even so, they all have something in common – the potential to lessen the impact on their surroundings. 

Sort through your belongings and give away, donate or sell what you no longer need, this will free you up of clutter and decrease your box requirements.

Craig Meacham from Ecobox shares five green house moving tips... 

1. Cut down on stuff

There’s no doubt that you’ll have lots of items that are no longer of any use to you – things you’ve collected over the years but haven’t used in a while. 

Don’t complicate your life by carrying the clutter to your next home. Give these away. 

By doing this, Meacham says it will free you up of clutter, decrease your box requirements and the number of trips the moving truck has to make, and it will make someone else happy. 

You could also opt to sell the things you no longer need through an online platform or organising a garage sale. 

2. Consider reusable boxes

Meacham says there are many advantages of using reusable packing materials instead of cardboard boxes. Green advantages as well as practical advantages. 

Reusable moving boxes not only eliminate the need for masking tape, they also save you time and money.

He says every time a cardboard box is produced, trees are cut down, however, one reusable box can be reused around 400 times. 

Unlike cardboard boxes, reusable boxes only need to be closed and sealed. No assembling is needed as with cardboard boxes, which take time and effort to collect. 

Most reusable boxes are designed so that they fit into each other; this gives homeowners the option of neatly stacking them up, allowing them to efficiently make use of the space on the moving truck. 

Often reusable containers feature a security-seal which helps secure your possessions. You can also breathe easy knowing that your belongings are safe inside the steady walls of a reusable box, which is usually not the case with collapsing cardboard boxes. 

Reusable containers are also weather proof, which means you won’t have to worry about rain dampening and ruining your belongings. 

If you're only moving up the road get your family and friends to pitch in - they can help carry light boxes and items.

Clearly labeled boxes are essential when moving and Meacham says homeowners can get reusable boxes with windows that house recycled labels. He says included in the accessory pack is a bold marker-pen which makes identification easy. 

He says once the move is over, homeowners who have purchased these reusable containers can use them to store Johnny’s favourite super-hero toys, mommy’s magazines or Jenny’s educational puzzles. 

Homeowners can expect to pay around R300 per 70L container should you purchase a resuable Ecobox. Hire rates are between R20 and R30 per box depending on order size and rental duration. 

3. Using alternative padding materials

Moving house can be a bumpy experience which threatens the ‘well-being’ of your possessions. To cushion the impact you’ll need extra padding. You can save yourself a trip to the supermarket and time gathering newspapers by using items that you already own. 

For example, when packing the kitchendon’t overload your boxes. Meacham says half full boxes will prevent a laden box that you can’t pick up, and by shoving a pillow in between the gaps you’ll be sure to cushion those blows on the road. 

Alternatively you could also use small towels, throws, bed linen,t-shirts or a soft jersey. 

4. Going the DIY route 

More driving means more carbon emissions. 

Meacham says homeowners who decide to forego the services of a moving company, perhaps because they’re just moving to a neighbouring suburb, should try limit the amount of trips needed to make their move. 

He says this means practising good packing skills and making use of reusable materials. 

Make use of a small car, as this will further reduce your carbon emissions because smaller vehicles use less energy, therefore emitting less carbon. 

Meacham says another great idea would be to hire or borrow a trailer from a friend, thus turning your vehicle into a delivery truck of some sorts. He says if you pack your boxes flat, you’ll find that your mattress will fit perfectly on top of the pile. 

If you’re moving down the road, then a trolley will do. Get your family and friends to pitch in, while you cart away your belongings and they can help carry the lighter boxes, or bicycle them over using a bicycle trailer.

5. Cut down on mail waste

Often, Meacham says we move and forget to notify all relevant parties of our change in address.

Make it a point to notify mail subscriptions, memberships, business and social institutions of any change in address well ahead of time. This will keep them from sending wasteful mail to the wrong address.

And, while you’re at it, consider having your hardcopy subscriptions transferred to email or online platforms.

Happy Moving! 

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