Green Moving Tips | Reduce Waste During a Move


Moving isn’t something we tend to focus on in the green movement, because it’s such a rare occurrence. While there’s so much you can do in your day-to-day life to reduce your impact on the environment, these once in a while events can be harder to deal with. To help you make your move a little greener, I’ve created a list of eco-friendly moving tips that will spare you time spent researching and brainstorming ways to reduce your carbon footprint while moving!


Here are ways to reduce the impact of your move without creating lots of inconvenience for those who are so kindly helping you move! I’ve learned to take good care of my movers, and that means not making life a pain for them, right?

1 | Box Solutions

The first and probably most obvious way to reduce your impact during a move is to avoid purchasing (or purchase as few as possible) new boxes. Instead, check online communities like local Facebook groups or Craigslist to see if anyone has free moving boxes available from their own move. You can also check with stores- in the past I’ve used boxes from drug stores like Walgreens and even from Liquor stores. If you have at least a week or two to plan, you can usually call ahead, find out what day they receive inventory, and ask them to hold boxes for you!

Alternatives to boxes are great too, especially if you typically end up needing storage boxes throughout the year. Plastic tubs and crates can be great- and if you don’t already have them you can check online for free or inexpensive used ones. Also check out local thrift stores, containers like these end up there all the time and I love using them for moving because they are so much stronger and more sturdy than regular boxes- plus they’re waterproof! Getting them used means you’re not purchasing new plastic and supporting an industry that is destroying our planet, but you’re getting good use out of something that would otherwise be tossed into a landfill.

2 | Tape vs Folding

This is a small change you can make to reduce the impact of your move. While tape might be convenient and necessary for boxes where small tools and such can fall out, most boxes can just be folded. Tape the bottom, fold the top, and save half the tape you might have used otherwise!

3 | Moving Day Food

Food is something we tend to forget to plan through a move. Especially if you’re moving a long ways and you’ll need food along the way, consider having some easy minimally packaged snacks available like fresh fruit, or even leave out a couple lunch containers when you pack up the kitchen, and prep some snack foods in there. Carrots and hummus, sandwiches, and grapes are easy snacks for moving day.

If you’ll have lots of people helping you move, consider setting out a little bit of a buffet so that everyone is able to eat at your house rather than all driving in different directions to get heavily packaged junk and fast food on the road.

4 | Packing the truck

This is a simple way to reduce the impact of your move. Pack your truck strategically so that you are able to make as few trips as possible. For our past 3 moves, my family has only taken one trip to move everything and that’s how I like it! Sometimes we’ll hook a trailer onto the truck in order to make this possible, and it works out great. It also saves our family and friends time helping us move. We load it all up in one go, and unload it all in one go, and then they’re free!

5 | After the move

After you move, there’s probably going to be some waste and a few boxes or plastic containers you don’t want anymore. Consider helping the next person out by placing them on Craigslist or Facebook. If you don’t want the plastic containers, donate them!

If you end up recycling all the boxes, be sure to remove all the tape unless your recycling center is able to work around that. There’s a lot of work that goes into making our recyclables actually recyclable, so anything you can do to help the center out is really awesome. I’m sure that karma bug will come back around.

Moving can be messy!

But hopefully with some of these tips in place, it will feel a little easier and weigh less on your conscience too. I know when I’m preparing for a move and I have too much time on my hands beforehand, I can get really stressed out. Planning things like this really helps me with the anxiety around the move and it makes moving day feel much more fun and relaxed. Good luck, and happy moving!!

Have more tips for a green move? Share them in the comments!

Jessica PenaComment