Have you ever wondered what impact a move has on the environment? Surely, transporting your whole home and life to another location has some negative effects. There’s fuel used in transportation, the packing and storage materials, and plenty of items tossed instead of recycled or reused. So how can you counter the negative environmental effects of moving?

Whether you’re moving across town or cross-country, you’ve got a lot on your mind. Remembering your environmentally friendly habits might be your last priority. But your move is a great time to make a big impact in a positive way. Here are our tips for making your move a more environmentally friendly endeavor.

Clear the Clutter

First, a great way to move in a more environmentally friendly way is to move as little as possible. When you move, it’s a great time to clear out clutter, sell old stuff, recycle as much as possible, and minimize your lifestyle. Less stuff to move means it’s going to take fewer trips to get it all done, but there are a lot of other perks to lightening your load:

  • You spend less time packing and unpacking.
  • Your new home will be uncluttered.
  • You could make some extra money by selling items.
  • You could get a tax deduction (and the personal satisfaction) for donating items to charity.
  • Movers will charge less for moving fewer items.

The most important reason to clear your clutter and minimize your stuff before moving is that you’ll be reducing the size of the vehicle used in transportation and the number of trips back and forth, resulting in less fuel used and fewer carbon emissions.

Pack With Environmentally Friendly Materials

Are you planning to go and buy a stack of brand-new moving boxes? Maybe you’ve also got a list of bubble wrap, tape, markers, and packing peanuts? Hold off the shopping spree for a minute, we’ve got some environmentally friendly alternative ideas.

Whenever possible, try to get used cardboard boxes for moving. They might not be as sturdy as brand new boxes, but unless they are totally unstable, they are still useable. Alternatively, plastic storage bins make great packing boxes that you can continue to use after you move or they can be passed on to friends.

Additionally, try to use items you already have around the house instead of other non-recyclable packing materials. Use towels, linens, blankets and even clothes to safely wrap your valuables and add extra cushioning in boxes with pillows and stuffed animals.

Use Green Cleaning Products

There are plenty of reasons to use green cleaning products and if you haven’t already, your move is a great time to start. Not only are products full of harsh chemicals bad for the environment, they’re bad for your health.

Once you’ve decluttered your belongings and packed up your reusable boxes, it’s time to clean the whole place. Products you might already have around the house like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are green-friendly replacements for household cleaners. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly cleaning product off the shelf, look for these three labels:

These certification programs help identify environmentally safe cleaning products.

Hire a Green Moving Company

Finally, you’re ready to move. A good way to wrap up an environmentally friendly move is to hire a green moving company. There are a few options here:

  • Hire a moving company that uses cleaner biodiesel fuel trucks.
  • Rent a similar truck and try to move in one trip.
  • Pack your things in a compartmentalized truck with other movers.

Now, you know how to move without making a largely negative impact on the environment. Decluttering and packing your home can be the toughest part so if you need help cleaning and moving, find the best local movers and cleaners with our directory

Devin prides himself on being a jack of all trades; his career trajectory is more a zigzag than an obvious trend, just the way he likes it. He pops up across the Pacific Northwest, though never in one place for long. You can follow him more reliably on Twitter