by Eileen Weber
I hate moving. No, wait. I loathe moving. I haven’t done it often and there is good reason for that. De-cluttering my life to pack up for a new place is as joyless as getting audited by the IRS. Perhaps if I had fewer possessions, I could put the contents of my life in one box gleefully heading off into the sunset on a Vespa singing a melisma rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough." But Vespa or no Vespa, the day everything I own fits into one box is the day I become a voluptuous blonde. But I digress…
For many who lead a green life to begin with, moving can pose its problems. How can you move in an environmentally friendly way? The average move consists of approximately 20 small boxes, 20 medium boxes, and 5 large boxes. That doesn’t include kitchen items or your wardrobe. And what happens to all those boxes? Whether you like it or not, they can sometimes end up in a landfill instead of the recycling center.
On AlliesAnswers.com, one blogger named Mark commented that moving seems like such a waste. He and his husband have moved from California to New Jersey to Massachusetts in the last few years. They’ve accumulated a number of boxes as a result.
“I tired to find a place where we could rent reusable crates, [but] the closest I could find to Boston was in Texas,” he said. “If someone in New England is looking to start a new green business, renting reusable boxes seems like an uncovered niche.”
According to an article on January 22 in The New York Times, Fortune 500 companies as well as pharmacies and supermarkets have used recyclable plastic bins to move from one location to another. Now, the average consumer is demanding the same thing and small business owners and truck companies across the country are heeding the call.
There are a number of options available from crates to used cardboard boxes to truck companies that use recycled materials and run on biofuel. Below is a list of some eco-friendly companies to make your next move a little easier:
Rentacrate, Waltham, MA
The company uses reusable plastic crates serving business, residential and government customers nationwide. Since 1991, Rentacrate has been providing a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to cardboard boxes for the office, commercial and residential moving industries. They use ShredX and E-Scrap brands, which provide sustainable shredding and electronics recycling services. Rentacrate has 16 full-service regional distribution centers that serve all of the United States.
Rent-a-Green box, Los Angeles, CA
Rent-a-Green box is a zero-waste pack and moving company that uses materials made entirely from post consumer recycled trash (plastic bottles, newsprint and cardboard sludge, and even baby diapers) mined from local landfills. They convert massive quantities of post consumer trash to make eco-friendly packing and moving products that replace traditional and expensive supplies like cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and Styrofoam peanuts.
This company is a national network of transportation service providers, specifically moving companies, who try to reduce their waste, pollution, and offset their carbon footprint. GreenMoversUSA.com researches and rates movers to determine how green their practices are (i.e., cardboard box recycling or use of biofuel).
Movers Not Shakers, Brooklyn, NY
They are a moving company that has been in business since 2002. They use biodiesel and reusable plastic bins, which means no tape, no cardboard, no box assembly, and no waste.
Used Cardboard Boxes, national
An alternative to getting your cardboard boxes off Craigslist, UsedCardboardBoxes.com provides high quality, cheap, used moving boxes. Moving boxes for sale are offered as kits or in stacks, and moving boxes are shipped throughout the U.S. They "rescue" truckloads of quality used boxes from large companies that might otherwise recycle them or simply throw them away. Any boxes that don’t meet their standards are recycled, not discarded.
Siracusa Moving, New Britain, CT
This company boasts 25% of its facilities energy is renewable. They use reusable crates and recycled cardboard boxes. They also have a fuel efficiency program for their trucks.
Gentle Giant, Somerville, MA
Their green initiative is to offer up to $100 worth of free used boxes. They have regional offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington. Gentle Giant offers local, interstate, and international moves.