Moving to a new house need not be a nightmare!
If you are moving to a new house, as everyone knows, the experience can be fraught with difficulties and stresses as you try to sort your priorities and keep procedures orderly.
Sometimes the last thing on your mind is saving carbon or keeping to a green living plan - but it needn't be that way!
Here are a few green moving house tips to help you both be more efficient and conserve energy. Some of these green moving house tips will also save you a bit of money, too. This article is written with US readers particularly in mind but most of the points made could apply to anyone anywhere in the developed world who is facing moving house in the near future.
Guest article thanks to Uship.com
Are you preparing for a major move?
When you're considering moving, perhaps the environmental impact of your move is not the first thing on your mind. Moving is stressful, its time consuming, and it's not what most people would describe as a "fun time".
However, with most Americans moving on average every five years, and over 40 million house moves each summer, the environmental impact adds up quick.
While not moving would surely be the simplest solution, it is simply not practical in most situations, so what can you do to have a successful move, while keeping your conscience green and clear?
Over the years, even the most thrifty and organized people tend to accumulate lots of things. While material possessions are necessary, take your move as an opportunity to see what you could live without.
You can get rid of this unneeded stuff by donating it to local charities, or selling it in a yard sale or online. By getting rid of things you don't need, you can save money, time, and more importantly lower the fuel consumption of your moving vehicle.
You should also try to see what is easily replaceable and what absolutely has to be moved. Because of their size and weight, appliances can be very expensive to move, and in some cases, buying a new energy efficient washer, dryer, or refrigerator at your destination can end up saving you money in the long term, and be a big help to the environment.
Do a quick cost/benefit analysis, and see if this is the opportunity you've been looking for to get rid of that old energy hog and upgrade to more environmentally-friendly household appliances.
Instead of buying new cardboard boxes to store your items for the move, go get used ones for free. Retail stores big and small will often have an excess of boxes that they are willing to give away on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some restaurants that get large deliveries of food, or college cafeterias and fraternity houses may also be able to supply you with their excess cardboard boxes. Make sure to only use the ones that still have good structural integrity so as to not lose anything along the way.
Another great way to recycle during your move is to get used packing peanuts. Traditional polystyrene packing peanuts are very difficult to recycle, but can be used and reused many times.
Check with your local recycling centers, as well as online at craigslist.org to find a supply of peanuts, but please make sure that when you unpack you remember to pass these along so that they can be reused. You can buy polystyrene packing peanuts quite cheaply from Amazon if you can't find recycled ones.
An alternative to these is to buy starch-based biodegradable packing peanuts. These packing-peanuts can provide the same level of protection, but can be easily dissolved in water with no negative environmental impact. You can also use your t-shirts, towels and rugs to fill the empty spaces in your boxes, and reduce the amount of money and resources needed to keep your fragile items safe.
As people strive to become more eco-friendly, many businesses are popping up to serve their needs. In many places around the country it is possible to find environmentally friendly trucking companies that have hybrid trucks, trucks that run on post-consumer biodiesel, and others that purchase carbon-credits to offset the environmental impact of their trucks. If these are unavailable, consider purchasing your own carbon credits to cover your move.
Moving provides you with a rare opportunity to look at your entire home and perform a green audit. Try to find places in your home that you can make green.
Check your utility closet for paints, pesticides, and other chemicals that may need to be taken to the local toxic waste disposal center in your town.
Check your household cleaning supplies and try to find new ways to eliminate toxicity in your household. From detergents to cleaning supplies, from disposable pens to disposable towels, you can find small ways to make a big difference in your house.
You will inevitably have quite a bit of junk left over when you move. Make sure to contact an environmentally friendly hauler or house clearance firm. These haulers cost about the same as their traditional counterparts, but will sort through your junk to find reusable and recyclable materials.
Whether you are moving across town or across the country, keeping a green eye open can help reduce the environmental impact of your move and help you to live a healthier life in your new home.
For more household moving tips check out the moving portal at www.uship.com/moving
One other thing to consider when moving to a new house: take care of your pets and plants. Pets can find moving stressful so it may be worth asking your vet about a tranquilliser for the journey and packing up day.
Transporting plants needs some thought if there are not going to be breakages. Remember to get enough packing boxes to accommodate plants and make sure that they are adequately watered before the move. Pack around pots with newspaper and cardboard to minimise jolting.
Picture: always consider your pets when moving to a new house. They are vulnerable to stress too!
Children, too, may find moving house stressful. Plan in advance by engaging their interest and involving them in the planning process. This way, they know what to expect to some extent, which always helps reduce stress. Make sure that key toys and cuddly blankets are not packed and inaccessible. Moving Gracefully: A Guide to Relocating Yourself & Your Family provides good advance reading for adults.
It's also worth thinking about the outside temperature when you move. Plants in freezing temperatures may get a shock which will kill them. The temperature of the journey and the time span of the journey are worth thinking about, too. If your packed goods spend a long time in a freezing or over-heated truck will anything be damaged?
We moved once at Christmas time and filled our new home with all our property which had been stored overnight at sub-zero temperatures. It took the new house a whole day to warm up from the effect of all that cold stuff sitting waiting to be unpacked! If you can, move at a temperate time of the year.
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