As the climate and energy crises continue to take hold, we are being encouraged to look at how we can make every aspect of our lives more environmentally friendly. As a result, many people are now looking for way to make a house move more eco-friendly.
As packing, cleaning, transport and storage all use resources and energy, Buzzmove have estimated the average UK house move can cause up to 16.8kg of CO2 emissions. To put that into context, this is the equivalent of keeping a light bulb on continuously for 54 days.
Given the carbon footprint moving house leaves behind, these six tips may help you make your next house move more eco-friendly.
1. Have a proper sort out before you move
As many removal companies charge on the weight of your possessions, getting rid of anything you don’t need will reduce the emissions caused by your removal vehicles.
If you can donate what you don’t want to charities and other local causes, this will have its own benefit not to mention cut down on the amount going to landfill, an environmental emergency in itself.
Furniture is a particular problem. In Britain we currently send 300,000 tonnes of usable furniture to landfill in Britain each year. Scarily, that equals the weight of 24,000 London buses. If even half of that could be donated rather than dumped, it would have an enormous impact on our landfill sites.
2. Start emptying your kitchen well in advance
Using up the contents of our fridge, freezer and cupboards means you don’t have to waste packaging transporting the food to your next property as well as helping to cut food waste.
If you are still left with quite a lot of non-perishable goods a day or so before your move, you could donate these to your local foodbank.
3. Clean green
When you move, you will want to leave your house nice and clean for the next person and will also want to clean your new home before you start unpacking. Make sure you use environmentally friendly products as the phosphates and acids in some cleaning products can be incredibly harsh on the environment.
You could even use more natural alternatives like vinegar and lemon.
4. Choose an environmentally friendly mover
Look for a removal company that uses low-emission enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles (EEV) vans and promotes a desire to pick routes that will cut down on their time on the road and, therefore, their emissions.
It is also worth asking if they can quote via video rather than having to visit your home. Again, this will cut down on the effects of emissions and fuel.
5. Choose the right packaging
Firstly, if you do have a proper clear out, you will have less to pack which of course means less packaging materials. However, you will always need to pack most of your possessions even after the most contentious purge so try to find environmentally friendly packaging options.
You can easily source pre-used boxes online. Better still, these are increasingly being offered at discount rates by some sites to encourage people to use previously used materials.
Reusing materials will again help reduce the amount of paper and cardboard being sent to landfill but you can do more.
There are now a range of biodegradable packing materials available, for example, biodegradable bubble wrap to protect your possessions in the packing boxes. Or you could go one step further and just use clothes, sheets and blankets as protection.
6. Get rid responsibly
It is inevitable that you will have to get rid of some things when you move. Perhaps you have a broken fridge, a flickering flat screen TV or an old lap top or games console that no longer words.
If you are going to ask a ‘man with a van’ to take them away, make sure you check they have the correct credentials as you don’t want to contribute to possible fly-tipping.
You can also do some research and find out where your local recycling initiatives are and take your goods there yourself. Some councils will even pick these up from you for a small fee to make it easier.
Our hugely our experienced property team are here to make sure buying your new home is as easy as possible. If you are looking to move, please email me at Jeremy.Tulloch@collinshoy.com or call me on 0208 515 6600.