Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Keep it green

From the confusion of attempting to gather all of your earthly belongings into easily transportable containers, to the dislocation of leaving the familiar in pursuit of the unknown, changing houses is easily recognized as one of life’s top ten stressors. The following tips will assist you in making an efficient and environmentally friendly move.

One of the most difficult things about relocating can be figuring out what to keep and what to throw away. I’m a big fan of clearing out superfluous belongings every so often, so even if you aren’t planning a move, these ideas can help you cleanse the proverbial palate in ways that will reduce waste and point you away from the dumpster:

Before I ever start to figure out more complex ways to get rid of belongings that I no longer have a place for, I make a round of phone calls to my friends to see if anyone wants to make dibs on anything.

For an excess of surplus clothing, furniture, and home goods, have a garage sale. The more merchandise that you offer in a home sale, the more customers you can draw in, so consider combining forces with friends or neighbors when you’re doing your planning. You may be surprised at how many folks are eager to join your efforts.

If you don't have the time or energy for that option, donate your things to a local women's shelter, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. You can find your local branches here. Many towns have recycling centers that will make sure your old belongings don't end up in a landfill. You can also try, an easy way to get in touch with people who are looking to find what you want to give.

For old electronics, try going here for information on places that will recycle your electronic waste.

If you have no leftover packing material laying around, you can contact Earth Friendly Moving, to rent durable boxes made of totally recycled materials, for a dollar per box, per week. They’ll drop them off at your house and pick them up when you’re through with them.

If you’re thinking about hiring a mover, check out this site for a list of moving companies that fuel with biodiesel.

To counterbalance the carbon footprint of your move, take a look at some of these websites:

  • Every (free) click at here removes 1 pound of carbon emissions.

  • lets you donate to compensate for your car, air travel, or home carbon emissions.

  • This site has a calculator that will estimate the range of your carbon footprint, and then offer you offset options that are of an appropriate size.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're dealing with projects of this magnitue alone, so take advantage of your support system by throwing a "packing party" for your friends. You supply the boxes, garbage bags and pizza, and everyone works together to accomplish the heavy lifting.

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1 comment:

  1. I also like craigslist for getting rid of stuff and maybe even making a few bucks at it! Craigslist is also great to "reuse," as one person's trash is another's treasure...