How to Make Your House Move More Eco Friendly
May 12, 2023

Updated 04/10/2023

Moving house can be a pretty stressful thing, but did you know that packing, transporting, storing, and unpacking can use up valuable natural resources and energy? And your move will also create a certain amount of CO2. The average home move in the UK creates 16.8kg of CO2 emissions.

 If you’re worried about the environmental impact of your move, read on to learn how to make moving your home more eco-friendly.

 

Defrost the Freezer

When moving house, it’s necessary to defrost your freezer and remove all the contents of the fridge. You can also avoid food waste by defrosting and using up all the food in your freezer. You may need to unpack a couple of your favourite cookbooks, but these steps can save on your food bill and cut down the effect of the move on the environment.

In addition, avoid using valuable packing space by going through your kitchen cabinets a few weeks before the move. If you find tins and jars of food you don’t have room for or won’t use in your new home, drop off a box of these foods at your local food bank. Local charities will then distribute the food to people who need it the most.

 

Declutter & Upcycle

The next way to make your move more eco-friendly is to declutter and upcycle. Your move is not only priced by the distance travelled to your new home, but also by the volume or cubic feet you are moving. Before you contact the removals company, look around your home and see if there are items you don’t need to take to your new home. This is a great way to declutter before packing, plus you could save money on the move and cut emissions at the same time.

Charities are willing to take items you no longer need or want. They will sell these items in their stores to benefit charity, or they may donate the items to shelters and hostels that need furniture and other items. No matter what, if you donate the items you no longer want, you’re contributing to the circular economy and benefiting those in need in your community.

 

Choose Your Mover

Many removal companies work to reduce their carbon footprint and implement sustainable practices to help offset CO2. Ask your mover about their focus on the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. Do they have ULEZ-compliant vehicles, and are they partnered with organisations such as Carbon Footprint? Most reputable movers also have a CRS policy available on their website, which discusses their responsibility to the environment.

You can also ask the removals company about the travel routes they use, moving times arranged to cut down on emissions, and more.

Many removals companies are using virtual removal surveys these days, so if you’re looking for a number of quotes, it’s a good idea to choose companies that offer this service. This will save fuel, time, and CO2 emissions.

 

Keep Quotes Simple

These days, it’s not necessary to arrange for a series of companies to come to your home to walk through it, the garage, and the garden shed. Instead, do your initial research online.

Choose a removal company that offers video surveying instead of a home visit for a detailed quotation. This can save fuel, time, and CO2 emissions.

 

Box It Up Correctly

As you declutter your things, save empty drawers, crates, and suitcases to cut down the number of packing boxes needed for the move. Another option is to look on Gumtree, Freecycle, and Freegle for used packing boxes. Today, many people choose to give away their packing boxes after moving. That way, they don’t have the boxes lying around, taking up space, and someone else can benefit from the boxes.

Some removals companies offer pre-used removal boxes for sale at a discounted rate to encourage their customers to be environmentally conscious. Eventually, the boxes become weak and are no longer usable. At that point, the company may recycle them.

 

Wrap Up Carefully

Defra, the government department responsible for the environment, says that paper and cardboard packaging waste going to the landfill or being destroyed has risen dramatically in recent years. You want to avoid contributing to this problem, so ask your removal company for biodegradable bubble wrap. This is a green product that protects breakables.

It doesn’t hurt to look around the house for things you can use to pack. These items can include old newspapers, magazines, junk mail, clothing, towels, bedding, and more. They make great packing to wrap around more fragile items to keep them safe during the move.

Collect the packing materials in the weeks before your move. If you don’t have enough, ask neighbours, friends, and family to collect items you can use for packing. Ask for socks, t-shirts, jumpers, soft toys, and more. These make great fillers in boxes. To protect items such as artwork, you can use blankets, towels, and sleeping bags.

 

Find Furniture a New Home

Did you know that people send 300,000 tonnes of usable furniture to the landfill each year? That’s the equivalent of 24,000 London buses. Too many people get rid of the furniture they no longer want by dumping it in the landfill. It’s also a waste of money, considering the cost of new furniture.

Rather than throwing old or unwanted furniture away, consider donating it to charity. These organisations can re-use or sell the items to those in need. The items may even end up on eBay, Gumtree, Freegle, or Freecycle.

 

Don’t Dump It

There are always a few items we can’t take with us, and no one wants them. These may include broken appliances, old laptops, broken lawnmowers, and more.

You may try to hire someone with a van who offers to take your items to the dump for a fee. The problem is that many of these may involve fly-tipping. This happens when someone dumps waste items on land that’s not set apart for this purpose.

If your name is found on dumped items, you could face possible court action, with the maximum penalty of 12 months in prison or a fine of £50,000 for fly-tipping. You may not be the one who did it, but you’re still responsible for the person who did the dumping.

 

Recycle

If you still have items you can’t get rid of, try recycling. You go online to find your nearest recycling centre. If you’re getting rid of white goods, such as a fridge or a flat-screen TV, the local council may do a household recycling pick-up. These services are busy and may charge a fee, so be sure to plan ahead to avoid a lot of panic and stress on moving day.

 

Summing It Up

Moving, packing, transporting, and more cause CO2 emissions, and there are things you can do to keep this to a minimum. Follow the tips in this article and keep your next move more eco-friendly!

FAQs

How do I find an eco-friendly moving company?
Finding an eco-friendly moving company is as simple as doing an online search. Look for companies that promote their sustainable practices and use environmentally friendly moving materials.

What should I do with items I don’t want to move?
Donate, recycle, or sell items you no longer need. This minimizes waste and ensures a more eco-friendly move.

Are there eco-friendly alternatives to cardboard boxes?
Yes, you can use plastic bins or rent reusable plastic boxes for your move. These options are more sustainable than traditional cardboard boxes.

How can I reduce energy consumption during my move?
Use energy-efficient packing strategies, like fully loading your vehicle to reduce the number of trips, and avoid idling your vehicle during the move.

What should I do with old appliances I don’t want to keep?
Consider recycling old appliances through your local recycling center or the manufacturer’s take-back program.

Can I hire a moving company for a short-distance move?
Yes, many moving companies offer their services for short-distance moves, including local ones.

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Excellent experience with White Rose removals who made the whole process run smoothly without stress from start to finish.So good to not have to worry about the actual move after the stress of house buying.Completely professional, friendly lads who never failed to keep smiling through the entire job. 100% recommend.
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From initial enquiry until completing the move the service has been exceptional.Any query answered quickly and politely.During the move the guys were cheerful and accommodating.They acted professionally and carried out the work efficiently .I can't fault the service
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07:49 30 Jan 22
From initial contact with Paul to the delivery of the contents of our house the service provided was excellent. This was a very challenging move as the destination was fairly inaccessible and had to involve a shuttle from the main road to the house on a hill. The 1st van got stuck in mud and they had to push it out before being able to continue. Jake went above and beyond when he chased our escapee chow chow a mile round the streets and across a busy main road until final capture involving outdoor workmen. Respectful, polite, efficient, hard working with a can do attitude at a competitive price what more does a customer need at this most stressful of times! Wishing you all the very best for a successful 2022!
Julian HolmesJulian Holmes
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Absolutely suberb service. Nothing was too much trouble. Friendly , happy removal team who did everything asked of them and much more. Administration was perfect from Paul and Hannah who led me through each step of the move.Could not fault anything and would recommend them 100%
Lorena IglesiasLorena Iglesias
11:42 21 Jan 22
They were absolutely amazing!From the begining Paul Taylor was great to speak to. His communication style and honesty really made a difference to me.They made the whole process easy for me from start to finish. Hannah followed up and made sure the coordination was effective.Kev and Ben were the team in charge of packing all my stuff, a life really, and they came happy and with a great attitude.Kev and Ben completed the job in no time with high level of quality. I could feel my stuff was being looked after and I was completely confident and at ease.The whole team went the extra mile to make sure my move was easy and cost effective at a very high quality level.12 out of 10 !
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