Moving is not always an environmentally-friendly activity, as it involves packing a lifetime’s worth of belongings in boxes that only get used once and are then thrown out. Fragile items are often packed with Styrofoam peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, neither of which is good for the environment. The whole lot is then packed aboard a truck that often gets less than ten miles per gallon. There are, however, ways to make moving less hard on the environment. Consider the following tips from Cheap Movers Boston, moving Boston since 2016:

Clean out your cellar/attic/closet

While packing up items you won’t need immediately, take time to decide if you will need them at all. For example, if you’re moving to Florida, you probably won’t need a lot of winter clothing. So, donate it to charity, sell it at a yard sale, or give it away to friends and family who could use it. Similarly, consider getting rid of anything that you haven’t used in years. Some things, like old books or electronics, can probably be taken to a recycling center. Best Buy will gladly recycle old electronics, regardless of where they came from.

Investigate your transportation options

If you have to send something like a car or boat to your new home, consider using the train. Trains are about four times as fuel-efficient as are trucks.

Check to see how green the moving companies in your area are. They should use trucks that run on biodiesel fuel and produce fewer emissions than conventional trucks. They should also provide packing supplies like boxes and peanuts made out of recycled materials. A green moving company will also be able to advise you on how to make your move as environmentally responsible as possible.

Get green moving supplies

The standard cardboard box is already fairly green, for it can be used four to seven times before it has to be recycled. The bubble wrap and the Styrofoam peanuts, however, are not green at all. An eco-friendly moving company can help you get green moving supplies. You can also get used cardboard boxes from local businesses. Usedcardboardboxes.com collects used boxes from businesses all over the country along with new boxes that are overruns or have misprints. It then sells the boxes plus packing paper, markers and tapes as kits.

Another company, RentAGreenBox.com, does just that. The average household uses about 60 cardboard boxes when moving. They then have the unenviable job of figuring out to do with all those boxes. Renting supplies has the advantage of letting you return the supplies to their owner when you no longer need them. Rent-A-Green-Box’s “Recopacks” come in three different sizes and are made from recycled plastic, so they are sturdier than cardboard boxes.

Go green at your new home

Treat your new home as a chance to start fresh and cultivate good habits. Use LED bulbs. Learn where the local recycling center is and use it from time to time. Buy ENERGYSTAR appliances when it’s time to replace something. Also check for additional energy-saving tips from your Boston utility providers.

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