Last Monday I packed up everything I owned and moved to London. Moving house is never easy, and packing is quite the task. It can also be an extremely wasteful process between all the plastic packaging and the rolls and rolls and rolls of sellotape. I like to think that I did a pretty good job at being as eco-friendly as possible with my move, and thought I should share some tips and tricks with you about how I did it.
Before the Move:
When you know you are going to be moving and your new home is secure, you should start thinking about reducing your stuff. It’s a great idea to sell or donate anything you know that you are not going to need to take with you, as it will reduce how much you need to pack. This will not only save you time, but also money, as you might not need as big of a removal vehicle as expected. Plus, you would be earning money from the selling process. It’s also a joy to give an item to someone that is going to have more use and joy out if it that you would have before.
The Packing Process:
To pack up all of my belongings, I used boxes that I had collected from a local business. It was just a case of asking them, and it turned out the boxes were going to go to recycling anyway so it was a win-win situation - I could reuse the boxes a few more times before they got thrown away, and the owner no longer needed to take a trip to the recycling center.
When taping up the boxes, I used paper tape instead of sellotape and found it to be really effective. This can be bought from Zero Waste Club here. It’s a better option than sellotape because it’s biodegradable.
Another method I used was finding other storage I already owned to pack my stuff, such as suitcases, laundry baskets, tote bags, backpacks and boxes I had kept from old kitchen appliances.
A third option that could be helpful, depending on how much you are moving, is hiring boxes. There are removal services out there that rent out large plastic boxes specifically for moving purposes, which saves time and resources.
To protect fragile items such as drinking glasses and plates, I used towels, pillowcases, and bedding to wrap them up and protect them from being smashed. This saved me from having to purchase plastic bubble wrap and it worked just as well.
When booking our removal van, there was an option to share the van with another person that may have been moving to the same area or close by. This is a brilliant option for those who don’t have a whole load of things to move, and it is the more environmentally friendly option because it puts one van on the road instead of two.
On the day of the move, I traveled in the removal van with my belongings which saved having to find another way of getting myself to the new apartment, which saved on fuel and extra expenses.
Being zero-waste whilst moving can be as easy as you want it to be- it’s all about preparing and thinking ahead! There will obviously be obstacles and different circumstances for different people so doing everything that I listed above is not always doable- and that is okay. Hopefully, some of the tips and tricks I have shared will help you along with your next move. Happy travels!
Hi There! I'm Emily and I am an artist and blogger. I run ecofriendlyemily.com, a site in which I share my love for all things environmentally friendly, as well as my latest illustrations and art pieces. I began my zero waste journey in my final year at university, where I started to get into environmentalism, first becoming vegetarian and then vegan. I become obsessed with reducing my waste, buying from charity shops instead of fast fashion stores, selling everything I owned (just about!) and carrying around my reusable cup/cutlery/tuppa-ware/the kitchen sink everywhere. I now have a deep-rooted love and connection to the earth and it inspires my work every day.