Dempsey Perno

Dempsey Perno

How To: Move Sustainably

For most students, summertime means your lease is coming to an end, and you’re getting ready to move. SI has some tips & tricks for making your move as eco-friendly as possible!

Before you move

If you know you’re getting ready to move soon, collect boxes and store them until needed.

Take inventory of your items. When you start moving you tend to begin throwing away things that you have been holding on to. Instead of throwing these items away, consider donating them to a local Goodwill or our very own Knights Helping Knight’s Pantry. Don’t have a way to get it there? Move For Hunger will come to pick up any sealed non-perishable goods you no longer want.

You can repurpose old or stained clothes by turning them into cleaning rags or reusable bags.

Be mindful of household hazardous waste. Orange County has a hazardous waste brochure that you can use to make sure you are properly disposing of materials that may be harmful to human health and the environment. For more information about hazardous waste, you can check out their website here.

Time to start packing

Avoid purchasing new cardboard boxes, check with your local grocery or liquor store to reuse any empty cardboard boxes they no longer need.  

Avoid creating waste altogether by packing in containers you already have. Use suitcases, duffle bags, and reusable grocery bags as an alternative to boxes. 

When you pack your valuables, consider using towels and bedsheets to avoid bubble wrap and packing peanuts. You’ll use less space, and you won’t have to deal with creating waste for your move. You can use socks for smaller items that are easy to misplace as well. 

Make as few trips as possible by packing your car tightly (while still being safe). 

Post Moving

Check doorways and windows for air leaks, then fix them with caulking or weather-stripping. 

Buy power strips so that you can unplug multiple electronics with one switch. 

Install energy-efficient LED light bulbs throughout the house and take stock of outdated appliances that might be heavy energy users. Energy-efficient bulbs are not only good for the environment, but it will keep your electric bill down as well.  

If you have a green thumb, consider planting trees and shrubs that don’t require as much water as grass would. Keep your lawn looking green and your water bill low. 

Before getting rid of your boxes, see if you can pass them along to another friend who’s moving. Recycle all the materials you don’t think you can reuse.  

Free up your mailbox and save some trees by avoiding junk mail. The Direct Marketing Association can help you stay off mass marketing mailing lists for up to five years. 

Need to furnish your house? Check out your local second-hand store or apps like Let Go to buy furniture second hand and save some money and furniture from being thrown away.