By Home master

Getting Moved Without The Environmental Cost

Moving house is a resource heavy activity. From all the packing boxes and various materials you need to do the carbon cost of transporting your belongings to the new property, being green about moving is a challenge that many people fail to consider. If you are aiming for a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle, you can succeed in planning an environmentally conscious home move easily, if you just think about it a little more deeply.

The added benefit of moving home in an environmentally friendly manner is that it often costs less too, so your home move will be better for your pocket as well as the planet. Here are the main areas of consideration, and what you can do to make your next move just a shade greener.

The choice of home

Your new home will have to fulfill many criteria for you to decide to take it. No doubt you are looking for a bigger house, or more efficient use of space. Ideally you will be looking for somewhere closer to work too, as this will reduce your personal carbon footprint in terms of your commuting distance. But have you thought about the ongoing financial and carbon costs of moving too? You might also want to consider:

  • Insulation – better insulation means less effort for your boiler, therefore lower running costs and less CO2.
  • Heating systems – Gas is more environmentally friendly that electric or oil, and if you have the option to incorporate biomass in the form of a wood burner or room heater, even better.
  • Renewable – Houses with solar PV and other renewable technologies are still few and far between, but if you find one that’s right for you, the added generation will be a great benefit.
  • Glazing – Double glazing not only cuts down noise, it reduces heat loss from the house too.
  • Recycling – What facilities does the local council provide for recycling household waste? If they don’t collect everything from the door, how far away is the nearest recycling point?
  • Composting – Have you got room for a compost bin in the garden? If not, will your council collect ‘green’ and food waste?
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By Phil Campbell under CC BY 2.0

Packing materials

It’s very tempting when moving to start gathering all the empty boxes and packing materials you can find in a bid to used recycled materials for your move. Whilst this is obviously better than using brand new boxes, it can pose a problem in terms of strength of the boxes as well as issues when stacking the van. For a truly eco-friendly solution, ask to hire plastic packing crates from your moving company, as these can be used time and time again, are a uniform size to stack in the van and, at the end of their lives, can be recycled into more packing crates for future moves.

Moving company

Choose a moving company with a decent amount of experience in performing moves in your area. The last thing you want is for the moving van to get lost, burn extra fuel and arrive late. Pick a company that uses modern, fuel efficient vehicles too, and ask if they are able to offset the carbon from your move through tree planting or other activities.

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Your stuff

Get rid of as much stuff as possible. The more you have to move, the heavier the van will be and therefore the more fuel it will burn. Added to this, if you have a lot to move it will take longer, potentially require a bigger vehicle and therefore cost you more. Sell or give away whatever you can to people who need it, and anything past its shelf life make sure you recycle ethically using local services.