When moving home, two things are going to be paramount: Cost and time. As both of these are at a premium during any removals process, thinking about how to relocate in an environmentally friendly way might be the last thing on your mind. However, going green when you move has other benefits in addition to helping the environment. Often, it can work out just as convenient, and even cheaper. Here’s how:

Firstly, have a sort through your things and find any old clothes, household items or appliances which are sitting hidden away in a cupboard gathering dust. Anything you don’t plan on taking with you when you move can be sold or given away. Straight away this not only gives you some precious funds towards paying for the costs of moving, but also reduces the amount of space you will need, and it turn how many trips you might need to make.

Have a check for any old travel bags, suitcases, trolleys and so on as well. Rather than throwing these out, you can use them to pack your things in (unless of course they are severely worse for wear, in which case throw them out!). If you’re worried about handing valuables over to the removal men, then you could also pack your delicate items in the old bags etc, and keep them in storage near your new home. Even better, see if friends or family who might be close to the area will look after these goods for you until you have moved in.

When packing, try and avoid using plastic, or standard packing materials like bubble wrap. These materials are not biodegradable and can be dangerous to wildlife. That said, if you already have some, better to make use of it, and keep hold of it for use in the future. Old newspaper, or any scrap paper, will work just as well as any foam or bubble wrap, and is cheaper and much better for the environment.

Make use of your local area. Many shops will happily give you their old cardboard boxes if you don’t have any to hand. The best overall option is to keep the boxes from any purchases you have made and use these. Whatever boxes you end up using, treat them well and store them somewhere out of the way after your move, as you can then use them again. This will not only save you money on purchasing new packing materials, but also make sure you are not wasting anything. Another alternative is to simply rent packing materials from your removal company. This also saves anything being wasted, and ultimately give you more storage space, as you won’t have to pack away any boxes etc.

Finally, plan and pack everything as efficiently as possible. The better you pack your items, the less space you will need, and the amount of trips needed can be cut down. This will save you money, as many removal companies will charge you by the day, so the less time you have to hire them the cheaper it will be. With this in mind, you might be able to reduce costs further by simply hiring a man in a van. As they generally charge you by the hour, you could potentially save not only money, but also the environment by not needing as much time on the road. If can’t get around hiring a removals company, then check for green companies in your area, as these will often have a much less substantial carbon footprint.