Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Big Green Move Checklist

The Conscious Shopper hopes this checklist will make her next move easier.

My husband and I have moved six times in the seven and a half years of our marriage, and I'm sick, sick, sick of moving. Every move has its annoying qualities, but this one has been particularly annoying because I focused so much during the last year on greening our life, and I feel like in many ways I'm starting all over. Except that I can't remember what it was I did in the first place.

I'm a big fan of itemized lists with little boxes for checking, so I decided that what I need is a "green moving list." And since JessTrev is in the middle of a move and a Green Phone Booth reader (Cath) commented on my last post that she will be moving soon also, I thought I'd make this list available to all of you as well.

The list here includes comments and tips, but you can also click on the title below to get to a printable Google doc version.

Big Green Move Checklist

Before Moving

___Declutter. (Don't wait until the last minute to do this or you'll just end up tossing everything in the trash can. Plan ahead and you can unload most of your unwanted belongings on Craigslist, Freecycle, the thrift store, and lucky friends. Dispose of what's left responsibly at your recycling center and hazardous waste site.)
___Locate sources of boxes and packing supplies. (Did you know you can find listings for used boxes on Craigslist and Freecycle? Uhaul also has a Box Exchange forum, or you could rent plastic bins from a green moving company such as this.)
___Hire an eco-friendly mover if using one.
___Clean old place with nontoxic cleaners.

After Moving

Junk Mail:
___Register with the Direct Market Association's Mail Preference Service.
___Opt-out of credit card mailing lists by calling 1-888-567-8688.
___Register with Catalog Choice.
___Register with ProQuo.

___Give away your used boxes or recycle them if they're too far gone.
___Set up a recycling center in your new house.
___Start a compost pile or bin.
___Check your new area's recycling guidelines.
___Locate your recycling center, yard waste center, and hazardous waste drop-off location.

___Check out the farmer's market. (Look on Local Harvest.)
___Find local sources of humanely raised, hormone-free beef, pork, chicken, eggs, and dairy. (Try Eat Wild.)
___Locate the nearest eco-friendly grocery store or co-op. (Check the Eat Well Guide.)
___Research CSAs. (Look on Local Harvest.)
___Locate restaurants that use locally grown foods. (Check the Eat Well Guide.)
___Map out a spot for your vegetable garden.

___Put up a clothesline if you don't already have one.
___Set up power strips to keep your vampires under control.
___Put in CFLs and/or LEDs.
___Install a programmable thermostat if you don't have one.
___Check for and seal air leaks around windows, doors, outlets, entrances to attics and crawlspaces, and in attics and basements.
___Add insulation where necessary.


___Put a bottle in the toilet.
___Replace showerheads with low-flow varieties.
___Install aerators in your faucets.
___Install water barrels.

___Look up your new house on Walk Score.
___Check out your new city's public transportation options.

___Meet your neighbors.
___Start a swap network.
___Locate your thrift stores and consignment stores.
___Join Freecycle in your new area.
___Locate your parks, libraries, and museums.
___Locate your local green groups and get involved.

If you have any other suggestions, be sure to let me know, and I'll add them to the Google doc.

photo by NeitherFanboy


Green Bean said...

Fantastic list! We talk about moving from time to time and I always wonder where I'd start. We've been here for 5 years and we've made so many green changes over the years.

Laura in So Cal said...

We moved 4 times in just 5.5 years before we settled in our house last year.

Before Moving...Make a list of all the places that need to have a change of address..utilities are obvious, but your insurance, DMV, doctors offices, workplace, banks, credit cards etc. Call, e-mail, or send a postcard.
Submit a forwarding card to the post office with your move date. They'll forward any mail (but usually not catalogs etc.) you forgot to send a change of address to for 6 months or so.
Save your boxes and packing material for fragile and expensive items like TVs, computers, etc. when you buy them for when you move. If you know you are moving soon, mooch boxes from work or from other people you know who have moved recently. If you know you will be moving alot, save the boxes and reuse.

So glad we've settled down.
Laura in So Cal

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

How great to have an organized list! I've moved many times in the past 20 years and I'm pretty organized, but you've covered everything.
Declutterring is my number one priority before moving. Why pack and tote along things that you really don't need?
Thank you for sharing!

Pure Mothers said...

What a timely post. Our movers come this friday to box up our stuff and then load it on a truck - headed for a container - to get on a ship to London. We are trying to let the green flow through this move. Had a moving sale, ready to donate baby items to WIC and other items to Freecycle and Goodwill. I dread all the plastic packing supplies that will be used to box our stuff so it won't break on the 4-7 week journey!

Our last visit to London to find a house we noticed that they don't seem to be very green there. No recycling cans on street. No one carried their own water bottle. Even the recycling trash has to go inside a plastic bag that the city gives you!! We went into a grocery store where 90% of the items were wrapped in plastic. (I'll be writing a post about it soon)

Well, we will do our best!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Green Bean - How could you ever leave your fabulous garden? :)

@Laura in So Cal - Great tips! I'm hoping we're settling down at least for awhile too.

@The 4Bushel Farmgal - Decluttering is very important (and planning ahead so you don't end up just junking it all.)

@Pure Mothers - Wow to London! Good luck with your move!

Jaime said...

Wow! We've only moved twice in 7 years, and I swear we're living here forever! We've been in this house 2 years and I still have a number of things on your list on my to-do list!!

There are probably cheaper sources for boxes, but I've read good things about this:

Conundrum Cupcakery said...

How apt this post is -- we just moved in to our place last month and I've been irked by the extra mailers, but hadn't yet dug through my archives for the junk mail links, so THANK YOU!

I think one tip that you sort of covered with window seals/vampires is energy conservation; but it might be good to add getting an energy audit/blower door test as an option, so that new owners know exactly where to best direct funds/resources to increase energy efficiency.

We will be getting one soon as our energy bill and usage has more than double from our last home, which surprised us because it is a ranch and we thought it might help our energy usage go down (less need for A/C, etc.) At this point we don't know if our "new" appliances suck more energy or if it was a misread of our meter or something else.

Green Bean said...

I'd miss our garden but that is the wonderful thing about gardens. You can always grow a new one. :)

cratercom said...

Great checklist, thanks for sharing. A big part of green moving is also the boxes. You can buy used cardboard boxes online at Part of the proceeds go toward planting trees through TreePeople. I'm biased because I work for them but this is a great, green company that your readers should know about. Thanks! Amanda

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the list. :)

I'm hoping when we move that the owners will let us take over the yard, as I plan to use the moving boxes as a base for my vegie garden.

Still decluttering/freecycling/giving away -feels so good!


Daisy said...

We've stayed put for several years and hope to make it more, but my daughter will graduate from college and my son from high school in the spring. Lots of moving, cleaning, and exhaustion are coming. I'll do my darndest to keep it green.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Jaime - Thanks for the resource!

@Conundrum Cupcakery - Thanks! I've added it to the google doc.

@Amanda - Yes, I hadn't heard of that resource, but Jaime commented here that she's heard good things about them. Thanks for passing on the word!

@Cath - I hope this helps during your move!

@Daisy - Wow! Sounds like you have lots of great events coming up.


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