How green is your move?

I packed out this week and once again, just as it happened during several other pack outs, I watched the movers use a lot of paper, carton, plastic, bubble wrap and tape. Now, of course, I want all for my things to make their way safely and in one piece across the ocean. But sometimes the amount of packing materials that’s being used for any one move is just staggering.

I give you an example. Everything — really everything — gets wrapped in paper. Be it glass, ceramics, plastic, tapper ware, silverware… anything. And most often it gets wrapped in several sheets of paper. I completely understand this necessity when you are sending glass or other easily breakable things, but plastic? Or metal? Really – how necessary is it to wrap it in several sheets of paper?

We’ve all witnessed the amazing proliferation of packing materials on a store shelf. Sometimes things are packed so well that it takes a muscle and well-sharpened knife to open them (toys are especially known for their hard-plastic packaging). Why do we need so much packing? Do we really think a doll won’t survive its voyage from China to the US without being wrapped up so well that an adult, let alone a child, cannot open it?

I protest the packing craze in the stores by not buying the products with excessive packaging, but what do you do when your own things are being packed? Well, ever since our first move I go around my rooms and specifically request each mover to use less paper or, if possible, not use it at all. And while I know that moving half-way across the globe is definitely not green, I at least feel better that I saved some of the resources they were going to use.

What about you? What would you do to make your move greener?

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5 responses to “How green is your move?

  1. Request once used boxes to have your items packed if moving internationally. If moving locally or interstate do the same. Our company uses ACE Crates for office relocations and these boxes are made of heavy duty plastic. An typical office relocation often use hundreds of cardboard boxes that are thrown out by the customer after their move is completed. By using ACE Crates or other reusable type packing materials companies can do much to reduce their carbon footprint.

  2. Brilliant post! I’ve been concerned with the environment I would be moving to, but hadn’t considered the actual move itself as an environmental issue. Definitely needs some thinking about.

  3. I applaud you efforts! This is definitely the type of thinking that should be integrated into our daily lives and decision making.
    I also wrestle with being a global professional and staying committed to sustainability.

  4. I also appreciate the point of the article however as a professional mover that also does international relocations as well, the paper is necessary to manage damge claims. People do not tollerate so much as a simple scratch on a peice of plastic when given the opportunity to cash in on a claim.

    We recycle the paper and boxes in 2 ways. First, we reuse the paper/boxes on other jobs. We also send trailer loads of paper and cardboard to a recycler to be as green as possible. We also use plastic tote boxes for local moves.

  5. Pingback: Some Excellent Posts « Future Expats Forum

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