If you’re a regular here, you know my family is in the process of moving across country. Moving in itself is typically not very “green” and can lead to a lot of waste. Especially with kids and all they can accumulate and come with, packing up can not only be difficult, but also lead to excess. So here are some eco-friendly moving tips to make your packing both easier and a little greener.
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In an effort to be both a natural parent and also in teaching my children about the earth and living sustainably and traveling smarter, having at least a more eco-friendy move is important to me. So instead of being extremely wasteful, we have been focusing on some of the things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint while moving 1,700 miles.
Collect Used Cardboard Boxes
I think many families do this anyways because it saves money. But really, this is an awesome eco-friendly moving tip. We can continue to use boxes over and over again, plus they can be broken down for easy storage. We collected boxes from friends and family as well as local businesses that receive lots of shipments. This provides a variety of size boxes as well which is something I just prefer when packing.
Rent Boxes and Tubs
If you can’t find enough boxes or you need to pack things in something more weather and water proof, then renting plastic storage bins is a great option. While plastic itself is not inherently green, the fact that those storage bins can be used around 400 times before being unusable again makes them a fairly green choice.
Purge – Only Move with What is Necessary
We are actually packing everything ourselves and using PODS to get us from OKC to Boston. In so doing, we have downsized. Now I will first say that downsizing was not first and foremost a green decision, but rather was something I needed to do. I let go of material possessions for Lent an decided I would bless others with what I had by giving away, selling, and donating what our family did not need. The added benefit of purging then was that keeping only what was necessary meant our POD is only half full and the fuel costs and carbon footprint to drive it 1,700 miles is far less.
Only Use what you Need/Find a Bubble Wrap Replacement
In packing our boxes, we only used the bubble wrap that we needed. And on top of that, I may have a problem with hoarding supplies. But the benefit of that is that all of our bubble wrap and plastic bubble cushions that we used in our packing were on their second life and were getting reused. Furthermore, if we ran out of bubble wrap, we used newspaper and other packing paper that was on its second life as well!
Prepare with eco-friendly Options
Sometimes the hardest way to stay green as a family while moving is in the weird transition phases where you can’t cook and when all your things are packed. So instead of buying up paper plates, cups, and silverware, I went ahead and got some Preserve Brand items to fill in. They are from recycled materials themselves, and I can just hand wash them as I need them and they can be the last thing I pack with a big “Open Me First” notice on the box.
While we have eaten out a lot more, cooking ahead and freezing is a way to both reduce costs and impact. Also, when eating out you can choose restaurants and food options that support your cause. For instance both Whole Foods and Chipotle have non-GMO and organic food options, and on top of that they have eco-friendly food containers that can be recycled and composted.
Check out the Earth Month Blog Hop & Giveaway!
I have an awesome Earth Month blog hop going on throughout the Month of April and today is the very first day! It’s all about providing resources and information to teach our children, educate ourselves and others, and just take one step at a time to be a little greener. It doesn’t matter if you are green or mainstream, every little bit helps! Plus enter to win 3 different prize packages! Click the link above for more.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!