America in a nation on a move. According to USA Today, New U.S. Census data show that the great slowdown in migration caused by the recession is starting to give way. In 2012, “domestic migration” was as high as it’s been in the past five years — nearly 16.9 million people moved between counties, with long-distance interstate moves accounting for about 7 million of those, up nearly 5% over 2010.
So, we are moving more now bettering our lives by doing so. But, moving is not only labor and cost exhaustive, it also has a strong effect on the environment when you consider the waste and emissions associated with moving. Till the industry fully electric, full size trucks, we will all need to continue and manage our carbon foot print and do our best to keep the planet safe.
Here are six ways in which you can reduce the environmental effect of your cross country move, or local move on the environment:
1. Find your new apartment remotely – Most people need to find a new place to live before they move to a new city for a new job or opportunity. That calls for at least one or two trips by car or plane to the new destination and additional expenses and emissions associated with your move. Use your Online and offline networks to help you find an apartment in New York City. Find a broker in the city and have him/her send you the information and pictures of a few apartments that fit your criteria. If you are on friendly terms with the broker, ask him/her to use their smart phone and do a virtual walk-through through the apartments that you are interested in. If you can’t arrange that, than ask your friends or family members in New York City to visit the apartments for you. Kick in $25 or $50 per visit to show your appreciation for this effort. Use the power of the Internet to make finding an apartment in New York cheaper and remotely possible. Use Craigs list and other Free online Real Estate resources to locate suitable apartments. Use Facebook, Google + and Twitter to let all of your friends and family that you are looking for an apartment in NYC. Read our blog post about finding your first apartment in NYC for additional information.
2. Use Earth Friendly packing materials – Use reusable or recycled boxes when moving. You can purchase strong plastic boxes for packing and continue using them as storage boxes for years to come. If you are not interested in buying plastic boxes, there is at least one company who will rent these boxes to you. Frogbox offers plastic boxes for rent in the US and Canada. Check out their website for details. If you are not interested in spending any money on reusable boxes than use recycled cardboard boxes. Accumulate these Free cardboard boxes as you prepare and pack for your move. Read our blog post on where to get free boxes for your move.
3. Recycle your boxes after the move – Putting your old cardboard boxes in the trash is an environmental sin. There are many ways for you to recycle them:
- Use a box broker. There are companies out there that buy and sell used cardboard boxes a quick Google search will help you find the ones operating in your area. Use Boxcycle to find used boxes in your area and to sell yours after the move
- Craigslist – Post that you have free moving boxes to donate and you will probably have people picking up your moving boxes within the hour. Make sure that you post your message on the “Free” section of the website and let people know when they can come and pick up the boxes.
- Compost – Cardboard can be used as part of the bedding in a compost bin. Contact your city’s recycling program and find out if they are receiving cardboard boxes as part of the city’s composting effort.
- Recycle – New York City has a strong recycling program. If you still have some boxes after trying all of the above, than you can put them in your building’s recycling containers and they will be picked up by the NYC sanitation department on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be hauled to a recycling center.
4. Get rid of stuff – The smaller your load, the less energy will be needed to move it and the less impact you will have in terms of energy and emissions. Get rid of everything you don’t have to have in your new place. At this point in the game you should know the square footage and layout of your new apartment. Get rid of everything that will not fit in there and than some. Read our blog post about De-cluttering your home for more information.
5. How to offset the impact of your move – Even when try to leave a smaller environmental foot print, moving is heavy on energy and emissions. To find out what will be your emissions for a specific trip check out the website of the Nature conservancy. One way to offset this is by purchasing carbon offset units. You can do this on the Carbon fund website. Buying Carbon offsets is a good way to neutralize your move’s impact. The money from these offsets is used to plant trees that consume CO2 and reduce the Greenhouse effect that emissions contribute to.
Here in U.Santini moving an storage, we have been moving People in and out of New York for more than eighty years and we intend to do this for a longtime more. We love and care about Brooklyn, New York City and the environment. We hope that these tips helped you plan a better, more responsible move. If you feel you need more information, or if you would like to hire us to move across town or across country , don’t hesitate to call us at 718-768-6778. We would love to help you “Green” your move.