7 Tips to Green Your Move

Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, moving to a new home can generate a lot of excitement – and a whole lot of waste. By making a few simple changes and planning ahead, you can extend your eco-friendly lifestyle to your move and take far less trash to the curb.

Donate or give away items you no longer need or use, or find a recycling program that can take them. If time allows, hold a garage sale; it’s a great way to rehome the items you no longer need – especially children’s clothing, tools, bookshelves, exercise equipment and other popular garage sale items – and offset your moving costs.

While you’re sorting through your pantry, check the expiration dates on items you don’t plan to take to your new home. Unopened, nonperishable food that hasn’t expired will be appreciated by your local shelter or food bank. Get to know what terms like "sell by" and "best before" actually mean, and check Feeding America’s Food Bank Finder.

If you’re not hiring a moving crew, rent your truck or trailer from a company committed to reducing its carbon footprint. Planning to have someone else do the heavy lifting? Look for a company that:

  • Drives biodiesel- or electric-powered vehicles.
  • Provides reusable crates instead of boxes.
  • Handles paperwork electronically.
  • Uses eco-friendly packing materials.
  • Recycles electronics.

To arrive at a home powered by clean energy, see tip 7 below.

An unexpected storm can dampen your excitement – and your belongings – on the big day. Keeping things protected is a wise move. Pack your items in stackable, water-resistant containers; they’ll come in handy for organizing and storage while you’re unpacking and settling in. If your new home is short on space, you can stay green by looking for companies in your area that rent reusable storage containers and totes.

If you need to use cardboard, check with restaurants, grocery stores, retail warehouses and your friends and family for spare moving boxes. You’ll lighten their load and save yourself some money. Your neighbors may also be giving away boxes on sites and apps like Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace. To add another Earth-friendly step to your move, you can do the same with your leftover boxes! Reusing and recycling cardboard boxes makes your move greener and helps you cut down on waste.

Think outside of the bubble wrap when it comes to protecting your fragile items. It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose, so look around your home for alternative solutions. Using towels, rags, sheets, pillows and other linens to protect your breakables helps keep plastics away from wildlife and out of our oceans and lakes. You’ll not only avoid adding new plastics to the waste stream, but also save yourself the trouble of packing linens into a separate container. If you run out, be sure to use old newspapers and recycle them after unpacking.

One of the most important things you can bring along in your green move is a sustainable electricity plan. If you’re already a Green Mountain Energy customer and are interested in transferring your service to your new home, please reach out to us.

  • TX residents: Choose “Moving?” under Support in the Green Mountain app, transfer online, or call 1-866-785-4668, daily 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. CT.
  • IL residents: Call 1-800-274-5289, weekdays 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.
  • MA, MD, NJ, NY and PA residents: Call 1-855-300-1798, weekdays 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET.

Not yet a Green Mountain customer? Choosing eco-friendly electricity to power your new home makes a positive impact on the planet, one that lasts long after the moving truck has gone and the boxes are empty. Before you flip any switches at your new home, sign up for a Green Mountain plan to enjoy:

Find a clean electricity plan that meets your household’s needs.
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