Reducing Fuel Use And Your Carbon Footprint
Reduce Your Carbon FootprintEnvironmentally conscious people usually cringe at the thought of all the cardboard boxes, crumpled paper, and vehicle fuel that are consumed during a relocation project. If your priorities include conserving gasoline, minimizing your trash production, and recycling materials, there are many things you can do to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of your move.
The traditional method of assembling a fleet of borrowed moving vans, pickup trucks, and cars to move your belongings across town for a short distance move is not particularly fuel efficient. The number of trips required and the relatively small cargo area of these vehicles consumes valuable time as well as fuel. Instead, rent a truck that is large enough to transport all the contents of your home in a single trip. Don’t forget to fill up the tank before returning the truck, though, or you will spend all of your fuel savings on an expensive refueling charge!
If you own multiple vehicles and are moving long distance, you can reduce your fuel use dramatically by either having a vehicle shipped to your destination, or simply by renting a vehicle trailer and towing it yourself if one of your vehicles is equipped with a trailer hitch. Even if you only own one vehicle, you can tow it behind a rented moving truck rather than having another family member drive it—as long as everyone will fit safely and comfortably in the moving truck cab.
Instead of buying brand new boxes, call local grocery stores to find out when they receive deliveries. If you can be on hand when boxes are emptied, store employees are happy to put them in your car instead of throwing them away. When your move is complete, you can pass on the favor by donating the boxes to another family planning to move (advertise on a local online forum if needed) or by dropping them off at a recycling center. For an even smaller carbon footprint, rent plastic boxes of various sizes, returning them at the end of your moving project. If you have a exceptionally large move, box rental will also save you a large amount of money over buying cardboard boxes.
Although they may be more expensive than using newspaper or packing paper, you can use biodegradable, grain-based packing peanuts to cushion your fragile items. After the move, simply dump these peanuts on your compost heap and they will quickly break down, safely returning to the environment.