Eco Friendly House Move

Next month sees the annual UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. To have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions must halve by 2030. Seems big scale doesn’t it?

Many of us have made simple changes in our everyday lives in an attempt to be more eco-friendly. Climate change is a concern at the top of many of our lists, with many of us feeling powerless to stop it. It doesn’t just take the big steps to help the situation, if we ALL took the smallest of steps, that will amount to a huge help.

And when it comes to moving house, here’s how you can be more eco-friendly…

We understand the to-do list when moving can be gastronomical, but these tips won’t add any extra time or effort, it’s simply a different way of doing things that you would already be doing, which are better for the environment.

Packing, cleaning, moving, storing then unpacking uses a fair amount of energy. We found out when writing this blog that the removals comparison site Buzzmove calculated that the typical UK home move creates an average of 16.8kg of CO2 emissions – that’s equivalent to keeping a light bulb on continuously for 53.85 days. (CO2 emissions calculated via YouSustain)

Empty your kitchen cupboards

And while you’re there, clear out the fridge and freezer as well. Use up items rather than throwing them away (you may need to be creative with your culinary skills here, a jar of plum jam and mild curry powder is probably not a great combination)

By using up food items, less are going to landfill, less packaging is used and less weight is being transported.

If you really don’t have the time or energy to think about using the food up, many supermarkets have food bins for local food charities, so you always have the option to donate unwanted food.

Move lightly

Have a clear out before the move. It’s the best time to do it and could save on removal costs if you don’t need a larger van.

Charity shops, schools and day centres will always be happy to take your unwanted items rather than you sending them to landfill. So, you have cleared your clutter, made a charitable donation, saved money on the van and in turn reduced your carbon footprint. No brainer isn’t it?!

Boxing clever

When you’re having your clear out, think about hanging on to items you can use to transport other items in. For example, old drawers, suitcases, shoe boxes, old plastic boxes from the loft etc. This will save on buying more packing cases and boxes – another win for the environment and your pocket (see how often these two go hand in hand?) We have seen many times people offering their packing boxes on pages like Facebook Marketplace before, so another option is to reuse and recycle.

Wrap up wisely

We can only imagine the amount of packaging and cardboard that already goes to landfill. Using a biodegradable option completely wipes that out. The foam chips that rinse away in the sink, wrapping fragile items up in bedding and towels and covering furniture in sleeping bags and duvets are all great ways of making that small, positive change. Ask friends and neighbours if they are able to donate old newspapers and magazines to wrap up smaller items.

If planned well enough, you may be able to move with buying any more packaging at all – again, saving money and helping the environment again!

There is a home for everything, including your old furniture

What might be your trash could be someone else’s treasure. If you don’t want that coffee table – sell, donate or even upcycle. Just try and avoid at all costs sending it to landfill.

300,000 tonnes of usable furniture is sent to landfill in Britain each year? That’s the equivalent weight of 20,000 Big Ben Bells – can you even imagine that many?

What if no one wants it?

Some things you don’t want and no one else wants, like the old lawnmower or broken vacuum cleaner you stashed in the loft five years ago and forgot about.

Be wary about the companies that will take your rubbish for a fee; ensure they hold the correct waste carrier’s credentials. Fly-tipping is a growing environmental issue and costs Local councils almost £60 million cleaning up fly-tipped rubbish annually. And if your name is found on dumped paperwork, for example, you could face court action yourself; the maximum penalty for fly-tipping is 12 months in prison or a fine of £50,000.

Recycle instead

What can’t be donated can be recycled. Local councils can collect and recycle old mattresses, white goods and sofas, for example, for a fee. Make sure you book in plenty of time to coincide with your moving day/week.

If you have the means to take these items to your local recycling centre yourself, even better!

Clean it up – without the chemicals

Cleaning the old house down for the new owners before you move is the done thing, and then you’re more than likely to also want a whizz around your new home too. Use green products or natural cleaners such as lemon and vinegar for a much more environmentally friendly sheen to your homes, past and future.

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