By Lottie Dalziel
Saying that moving house was an all-mighty task, is an all-mighty understatement. Yes, I might be slightly dramatic but it isn’t something that I want to do again anytime soon and while it is front of mind I thought I’d write down some of the things that can make your move both greener and easier.
1. Declutter in advance
I am a big fan of Marie Kondo-ing a space but something that was a lifesaver was decluttering long before we started moving, and then doing it again when we were packing. When your disposing of your waste ethically, unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as throwing everything in the bin.
As a household, we created piles of unwanted items so we could dispose of them more sustainably. Ours were as follows:
While I did manage to sell a couple of larger items like an old fridge the rest I tried to rehome for free rather than sending to landfill. If you have a bit of time log your items on The Bower’s website and they will help you home your homey goods with a good cause (it will take a couple of weeks so start early!).
If you have things that are in no state to be rehomed and are unusable, book in for a council pick-up because leaving your old goods on the footpath is technically illegal.
2. Shop mindfully
Setting up a new home is exciting and often overwhelming, whilst it’s easy to go overboard on “quick buys” it’s an even better opportunity to make conscious purchases. Don’t be afraid to ask companies where and how their products are made and look for companies with the B Corp logo, this means that they are legally bound to balance purpose and profit.
Koala, for example, has targets in place to increase the percentage of sustainably sourced timber and textiles, and the recyclability of their products is always front of mind. When you buy a Koala mattress, for example, they will send you the details to book a pick-up for your old mattress with Soft Landing. To date, Soft Landing has prevented over 978,000 mattresses from entering our landfill.
Plus for every sofa sold Koala will adopt a turtle through WWF.
3. Borrow me
Moving happens once in a blue moon (or for me once in a lifetime because it is not happening again!), so rather than purchasing the things you’ll need for a week or two borrow them from a friend. This goes for moving boxes, trolleys, tools – pretty much anything! Look to your network and neighbours or your local tool library.
4. Spare bits
Yes, IKEA’s flat-pack goods can be seen as “fast-furniture” but they are doing a lot of work in the sustainability sector. You can actually sell your old IKEA furniture back to them (and purchase others preloved goods if you don’t mind a few scratches) plus they also recycle old light bulbs and often run textile drives for local charities.
Also, if you have a piece of IKEA furniture and have lost all of the screws and bolts (it happened to us!) it’s a little known fact that they will send you all of the bits and bobs to rebuild it free of charge.
5. Low tox opp
It is also a great time to look at the toxins you use in your home and when purchasing new ones switch to natural cleaning products. Traditional cleaners are made up of harmful chemicals that enter our food and lungs, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your cleaners then chances are they're not good for you.
Note: if you are looking to dispose of toxic cleaning products don't pour them down the drain! Contact your local council to find out when their next chemical collection is.