In many areas of modern life an increasing number of people are aware of their impact on our planet and local environment. We all recycle in ever-growing quantities with my own local authority recently implementing a food recycling bin in addition to our multi-purpose recycling bin that will accept glass, plastics, cardboard, paper, metal etc. Unbelievably the food recycling system allows you to recycle cooked and uncooked food, including cooked meat and fish and uses a 2-bin system (one for inside the house and one for outside) with a special, easy locking mechanism to prevent rodents getting at your left-over dinners.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that another new environmentally friendly initiative concerns house moving. But just what is an environmentally friendly house move?

Well, clearly, it involves minimal impact on the environment so can be achieved in a number of ways with the most obvious one being the reduction of carbon emissions by using a smaller van to shift your stuff, which will use less fuel. But in order to use a smaller van you will need to have fewer belongings to move to your new home or into self-storage if you are relocating to another country. And the best way to reduce your possessions if to recycle them – donate them to charity or offer them on one of the online recycling networks – better still simply bag them up in one of the many charity bags that are posted through the letter box at regular intervals. That way you are not using fuel driving to the charity shop.

Another aspect of an eco-home move is the packing materials you use – try to minimise the quantity of bubblewrap you use and instead use old newspapers where you can (remember that newspaper isn’t suitable for fragile belongings). Also use old cardboard boxes and padded mail envelopes in which you have had goods delivered (don’t recycle them close to the time of moving but stash them away instead) to pad out spaces in your packing boxes.

Whilst you may want to be environmentally friendly you will want to be sure you adequately protect your fragile possessions so they will need to be packed in decent packing boxes but you can combine this protection of your delicate items with an eco-approach by seeking out used packing boxes, which are available from a number of suppliers.

Once you have your packing boxes and packing materials start to pack well in advance – this will give you more time to think about how you are packing items and how to minimise your use of packing materials. For example, use towels and bedding as padding around some items. It will also give you another chance to clear out any remaining items that you really don’t need any longer and therefore, have less to pack. If you leave the packing to the last minute you will be in a rush and have the tendency to just pack everything whether you need it or not.

Finally, check your local removal companies (or van rental companies if you are going for a DIY move) to see if any of them have low carbon vehicles.