Eco friendly, Zero Waste Inspired Packing and Moving Tips
The packing has begun!
I am leaving my precious little Texas bungalow to move to my beautiful home state of Georgia next week. I know from past packing experiences that moving to a new place can be quite wasteful and hardly eco-conscious. So I’m trying to be more mindful this time around. I thought I’d share with you some sustainable packing tips I’m learning. Of course, I’d also be delighted to hear your suggestions as well.
*Update* Since posting this blog post in 2015, I’ve moved yet again! After moving from Texas, I settled in to a green bungalow in Athens, Georgia, and from there moved to the outskirts of Athens to our family’s farm house. I have become quite the seasoned zero waste packer and mover. I wanted to give this post some freshness and share some new ideas I’ve learned that might help you out on your own next move.
Moving house is the perfect opportunity to assess your belongings and figure out what you really need and want of course. Now’s the time to minimize. In the past, I would be throwing a lot of stuff in the trash can but what’s an even better idea is to share. Give your used goods away to friends and neighbors, or drop them off at your local thrift/charity shop. We have some friends that moved overseas and left us with their patio grill, score! We were happy to help them in their downsizing efforts before their big move 🙂
You could also host a yard sale to maybe make a few bucks in your minimizing endeavor. We had a yard sale in Athens before moving. Although we didn’t make a ton of money, we were able to get rid of quite a few things, which meant less to pack to take to our new place. We were thankful for even just a few less boxes to pack up! Facebook marketplace is also a good place to sell your used household goods that are still in good shape. I’ve been trying to reduce plastic in my life as well, so this has been a great opportunity to get rid of some of that.
Don’t Buy Packing Materials
There are plenty of ways to find free moving boxes and packing materials. You don’t need to buy new, I promise! I suggest first hunting on Craigslist or FreeCycle for these goodies. I didn’t have much luck here in Houston, but thankfully I have some fabulous friends who had recently moved and had boxes to share. I’ve heard that you can find plenty of used boxes at liquor stores as well! I’ve also had luck picking up used boxes at Walmart. It’s good to call ahead and ask them if they’d mind holding some aside for you.
Once you’ve moved to your new place and unpacked, you can of course recycle your boxes OR better yet, you could reuse them. Again, post online to see if anyone else might need moving boxes. Did you know that cardboard is also really great at keeping weeds out of the garden? You can reuse those moving boxes in your new garden at your new home, how cool! There are also heaps of DIY projects to use upcycled cardboard boxes as well. Just head over to Pinterest and you will find heaps of ideas there. Another fun idea, let your little ones keep a few of the boxes to play with. Children have wonderful imaginations and you’ll be surprised by how creative than can get with a simple box 🙂
Upcycled Packing Materials
Another thing, those little packing peanuts are not only super annoying (they get strewn all about the house) but not the best for the environment. I have been packing my breakables in dish towels, bath towels, and sheets! I’m going to run out of textiles soon I’m sure, so I’m thinking newspaper might be another good alternative? Definitely, try to avoid plastic bubble wrap for packing; stick to recyclable and compostable packing materials instead.
Also, did you know you can even buy eco friendly tape? It’s called paper tape, and you should be able to find it at your local office supply store. Otherwise, you can definitely find it on Amazon. I didn’t use this the first time around because honestly, I didn’t even know it existed. I learned about it later when looking for eco friendly shipping options for orders for the Tiny Yellow Bungalow online zero waste store. 🙂
Use Up the Food in your Kitchen
Use up the food in your kitchen or give it away to friends. I’ve been preparing my kitchen for this move for the past month, purchasing only the bare minimum and using up all of the foods I already have in the kitchen (there have been a lot of dishes with miso paste…). However, if you know you won’t be able to finish it all, and it’ll go bad during the move, give these goods to a neighbor or friend. Don’t throw them away!
What are your sustainable moving tips? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section 🙂
Also, if you are in need of more zero waste moving inspiration, check out my friend Megean’s blog post on the topic over on her blog Zero Waste Nerd!
You might also enjoy these blog posts from Tiny Yellow Bungalow!
Author’s Note: This blog post was originally posted in August 2015, but I’ve updated some information and want to share it with my newest Tiny Yellow Bungalow followers. Enjoy y’all! ?