Aside from the well-known levels of stress which it can bring on, moving house can be fraught with difficulty in other, longer-term ways. Energy efficiency is becoming a wider concern for those looking to move home, with well-insulated housing and a new boiler potentially saving homeowners and tenants hundreds of pounds a year.

But why wait until you’ve moved to start taking an eco-friendly approach to your new house? It’s far easier than you might think to make your house move itself environmentally friendly, from clearing your old home onwards. Read on for our guide to making your move as green as possible.

Avoid landfill when clearing your old house

One of the most important aspects of moving house is ridding your home of clutter in order to work out what you need to take with you. This rarely just includes actual rubbish, but furniture, toys, clothes—anything in your house you won’t want to take with you is going to have to go somewhere else.

While landfill sites are subject to stricter regulations than in previous decades, the sheer amount of waste which is located there—nearly 26 million tonnes in 2014, though this figure is set to drop with every year—means both movers and clearance specialists are beginning to take this into account. Be mindful with your move, and recycle as much as you can, or seek help from those who make eco-friendliness part of their policy; companies like Clearance Solutions recycle or donate any to charity during house clearance. Supporting companies who have a conscientious approach towards clearance is a useful first step to a green move.

Be careful with your packing

One thing everyone knows about moving house is the sheer number of cardboard boxes which find their way into your moving vans. Smart packing is key to an eco-friendly house move, and there are sustainable alternatives to cardboard crates which can lower your carbon footprint, and provide long-term storage in your new home.

Plastic boxes or tubs, which are easily and cheaply available from homeware stores, are ideal for moving books, DVDs etc, as well as shoes or clothes. If you do wish to use cardboard crates, use recycled ones sourced from supermarkets rather than new ones. Pad any crates which include delicate or fragile items with recyclable newspaper rather than bubble wrap, which cannot be recycled as easily. You could also use clothing or tea towels and similar soft fabrics you are taking from house to house as padding materials instead to have even less of an environmental impact.

Plan to make as few trips as possible

You should also ensure you try to pack as efficiently as possible, using as much of the van as possible to avoid wasting space. This will not only cut down on wasted room in a moving van, but consequently reduce the number of trips you will need to make between houses, thereby lowering the carbon footprint of your move through exhaust emissions and petrol wastage.

Hiring a moving van which is too big or too small for your removals job is wasteful either way; if the van is too large, there is extra space which could be used for other jobs, whilst a too-small van will lead to additional, unnecessary journeys between houses. This removal van size calculator should provide you with the information you need to hire the right van for the job, which will not only help you transport your belongings from A to B more efficiently, but in a more ecologically-friendly manner.

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