Moving out – the Zero Waste way!

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box of old postcards to be recycled

Whether you’re downsizing, retiring or moving up the property ladder, creating waste when you move out is almost inevitable.

And I find it gets worse the more years you have behind you!

When you stop to consider the amount of tape, bubble wrap, and cardboard being used and discarded, plus the sheer volume of stuff you just don’t want or need any more, the impact on the environment of a house of business move can be considerable.

Here are some tips for making your move more sustainable

Plan ahead

Like most things in life, planning ahead can make a huge difference. There is a saying that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. So spend time strategising your move and thinking about all the items you need to get rid of, as well as how you might store and transport the things you want to keep.

One step at a time

It’s quite disheartening to move a load of things you don’t actually want to a new home. But by doing your planning ahead of time, you can gradually rehome those items you no longer need. There a plenty of options from antique centres to charity to recycling — we’ll talk more about those in a moment.

Don’t be hasty

While it can be stressful moving things you don’t really need, it’s equally stressful making a rash decision about getting rid of that family heirloom, only to regret your decision later. In that case, a storage vault service that allows you to store personal possessions for safekeeping is your friend.You can then retrieve the items you truly want to keep when your new home is ready.

Packaging materials

Obviously getting items broken in transit can lead to landfill waste, so how do you transport delicate items without costing the Earth? Hopefully you’ve known about your move for a long time, so you can start saving materials — cardboard boxes, padded envelopes and bubble wrap are all items you can reuse, then offer on Freecycle once you’ve finished using them. For larger items, old blankets are excellent and can be donated to an animal shelter or used as sheets to protect flooring when you decorate.

Rehoming items

As mentioned already, there are plenty of ways to rehome the things you no longer need. Electronics and electrical items are often snapped up by friends and family. If they are beyond use, then most stores that sell items with plugs or batteries (WEEE items) have proper recycling facilities for them. For large items your local council can help. As long as furniture has fire retardant labels, it can be donated to larger charity shops. For children’s toys, why not donate to a local nursery or playgroup? Clothes can be sold if they are in decent condition, and kitchen equipment tends to do well on a local group like Freecycle.

What about you — how have you moved out without creating too much waste?



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