Sustainable Moving: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint When Moving

Sustainable Moving: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint When Moving : Many people like to think of moving as an exciting event, yet, it involves a lot of preparation and stress. The entire organisation, the packing, the planning and the moving can drain your power and entirely overshadow the thrill of purchasing and moving to a new place.

However, moving to a new home can also have another downside. Oftentimes, relocating will significantly impact the environment, as it usually involves a lot of waste and carbon emissions.

Luckily, you can implement various ways to reduce your carbon footprint when moving. As we are highly environmentally conscious, we created a blueprint of how you can scale down your carbon footprint when moving.

Minimise what you are moving

Physics is clear here. The less you move, the lower your carbon footprint will be. It’s not rocket science.

Moreover, not cluttering your new home will lower your environmental impact, significantly benefit your mental state, and help you stay healthy during moving.

Minimising the amount of stuff you will transfer to your new home is important, so here are some of the best ideas for doing that:


The first step in minimising your move is to declutter your home.

This includes removing anything you don’t need or use, such as old clothes, broken appliances, and outdated furniture. That will surely reduce your carbon footprint and also make your move easier and more organised.

Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to Marie Kondo your life and eliminate things that no longer spark joy.

To do so, gather the stuff you haven’t used in the last year and ask yourself, do you really need them, or are you keeping them because of the artificial value you placed on them?

If it’s the latter and they are not family heirlooms or precious metals, just let them go. The result will be great, especially if you’re moving in with someone.


While decluttering, don’t just throw stuff out. A smarter way to get rid of these belongings is to either sell them or, better yet, donate them.

Selling your belongings takes time and brings additional stress. The minimal monetary value won’t cover your exhausted nerves.

So, instead of bringing another choir into your already overwhelmed schedule, just donate the things you won’t use and are still in good condition.

Enough organisations and people would be thankful to use what you will throw away. This will give the item a second life and a new purpose, giving the world one less thing to clutter its oceans.


For items that cannot be donated, consider recycling them instead of throwing them away. Check your local recycling facilities for guidelines on what can be recycled and how to do it.

Recycling is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, as it helps to conserve resources and reduce waste. Yes, it does take a bit of extra effort, but saving the environment is never easy, and look what the easy way brought us.


This being said, not everything you don’t intend on using is useless.

For example, you may donate that mint condition doll your 25-year-old daughter will certainly never look for again, but you can reuse its box. The same goes for any old packaging.

Of course, the more you reuse, the lower your carbon footprint will be. You also save quite a bit of cash on packaging materials as well.

Choose sustainable moving boxes

While we are discussing packing materials, choosing the right amount and kind of boxes can also significantly impact the environment. A few options are on the line, and you must carefully consider which ones you will use.

Cardboard moving boxes

Cardboard moving boxes are a popular choice for many people, as they are affordable and easy to find.

However, they also pose a significant source of waste, as they are often used only once and then discarded.

Still, that doesn’t have to be their fate. Cardboard boxes can be reused, recycled, or even used to create compost to fertilise your garden subsequently.

True, if you dispose of them improperly, they can be a great source of pollution, but compared to the alternatives, this one is the easiest to recycle and reuse.

Reusable plastic boxes

If you go for reusable plastic boxes, ensure you will reuse them afterwards. If you plan to utilise them after the move into your storage room, that’s a great choice. Plastic containers surely make for a great way to keep your stored items fresh and protected from moisture, pests and dust.

Most professional moving companies choose this choice, but only since they use them daily. So if you are going to need boxes after the moving is done, you might as well go for the more durable plastic solution.

Rent moving boxes

If you don’t want to buy new boxes, consider renting them instead. Many moving companies offer rental packages that other customers can reuse after you are done with them. That’s an excellent way for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

Reuse yours or someone else’s moving boxes

Lastly, you can reuse moving boxes you already have or borrow them from friends and family. This option reduces waste and saves money simultaneously. Plus, seeing the creative ways people repurpose their old moving boxes is always fun.

Use eco-friendly packing materials

In addition to choosing the right moving boxes, it’s essential to use eco-friendly packing materials.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Biodegradable packing peanuts – Biodegradable packing peanuts are an excellent alternative to traditional Styrofoam peanuts. They are made from cornstarch and will dissolve in water, making them easy to dispose of and less harmful to the environment.
  • Recyclable packing paper – Instead of using bubble wrap or foam padding, consider using recyclable packing paper to protect your belongings. This paper can be reused or recycled, making it a more sustainable option.
  • Cloth or towels – For fragile items such as dishes or glassware, consider using cloth or towels to protect them. That can both minimise waste and save you some cash too.

Choose a green moving company

Choosing a moving company that values sustainability is another way to reduce your carbon footprint when moving. Look for a company that uses low-emission vehicles or alternative fuel sources, such as electric or hybrid trucks.

Moreover, ask the company about their eco-friendly practices, such as recycling, using biodegradable packing materials, and reducing waste. If a company values sustainability, it will happily share its practices with you.

Some moving companies will even offer carbon offset programs that allow you to offset the carbon emissions produced during your move by investing in renewable energy or carbon reduction projects.

Pack your moving boxes smart

Finally, packing your moving boxes smart can help you reduce your carbon footprint and save space in the moving truck.

Instead of putting all your heavy items in one large box, distribute them among several smaller ones. Doing so will make it easier to carry and load the boxes and reduce the risk of them breaking.

Furthermore, make sure to use all available space in your boxes, filling gaps with smaller items or packing materials. That will reduce the number of trips needed to transport your belongings, saving a significant amount of space.

Finally, labelling your boxes clearly will help you organise your move and ensure that everything ends up in the right place. This will reduce the risk of lost or damaged items and make the unpacking process easier.


Moving doesn’t have to be a wasteful and carbon-intensive process.

Following these tips can reduce your carbon footprint and make your move more sustainable. Minimise what you are moving by decluttering, donating, recycling, and reusing items. Choose sustainable moving boxes and use eco-friendly packing materials.

Most importantly, look for a green moving company that values sustainability and packs your moving boxes the smart way. And remember, implementing even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference in reducing your carbon footprint.

Plus, who knows, you might even have some fun while doing it – like finding creative ways to reuse old moving boxes or playing a game of “How much can I fit in this box?”




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