Environmental issues have become a widely discussed topic throughout the UK and the world over the past decade. Organisations in all industries are considering how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and millions of people throughout the UK feel deeply moved to do something about the climate crisis.
In the property industry, it has become increasingly common for homeowners to install eco-friendly features in their property, or to consider their carbon footprint throughout the process of moving house. So, how can someone moving house reduce their impact on the environment?
In the blog below, we have outlined some important ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to ensure that you look after the environment when moving properties.
How big of an environmental impact can moving house have?
In many circumstances, moving house can have a considerable environmental impact. Moving vans emit carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and if they are travelling a large distance between properties, this increases the environmental damage even more.
The packing materials used when moving house are not usually eco-friendly. Most people focus on box durability and sturdiness when packing up their things, because these are the most useful features, but this sometimes means that materials are used which are bad for the environment.
In the build-up to moving property, it is also common for families to throw away lots of their possessions which they don’t want to bring to their new house. This can contribute unnecessary landfill.
Finally, there are typically lots of cleaning products used when moving house. Many of these have chemicals which are bad for the environment.
How to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment When Moving Home
There are lots of eco-friendly alternatives to the stages of moving house which are harmful for the environment. Your family may opt to use cleaning products which are environmentally friendly and have very little carbon footprint.
You may also wish to use packing materials which are eco-friendly – and if you are hiring a company to do your packing up for you who will perhaps be using their own boxes, you can make sure to hire a firm which uses environmentally friendly materials.
When a removal company transports your belongings between two locations, you can enquire in advance about the type of vehicle they will be using to do this. Diesel engines are generally considered more harmful for the environment, and older cars may be less fuel efficient, too. If you are unhappy with the environmental footprint of the vehicle being used, it may be worth considering another company.
Preparation is Key
Preparation is a critical factor when trying to move house without damaging the environment. For example, if you declutter your property far in advance before you move, it will give you the time to do so responsibly – such as by recycling where possible and not adding to landfill when you don’t need to. If you leave your decluttering to the last minute, it will be more tempting to throw everything into landfill because you don’t have time to separate it out.
You could also conduct research into the most energy efficient route between your two properties. For example, roads which are difficult to drive on – perhaps because they have a steep incline – tend to result in cars emitting more carbon. If you find a route which is more efficient, then you can give this to the removal company in advance, to make sure they take that route between your properties.
Thirdly, your fridge and freezer need to be empty when moving day comes – and if they haven’t done this, it sometimes results in families throwing away unused food at the last minute. Instead of doing this, you should use up all your food far in advance of moving house, so you aren’t throwing anything away.
Purchase Items Second-hand
You should visit local charity shops if you need any extra items for your new property. When you buy things brand-new from a shop, it increases your carbon footprint. Second-hand purchases are an eco-friendlier way to buy necessary items for your house.
Consider the energy efficiency of your new house
In an ideal world, you will take a close look at the energy efficiency of your new property before you decide to buy it. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will give a clear indication of your house’s effect on the environment. It will also help you to sell your house fast when the time arises further down the line, because energy efficient properties are more desirable.
If your new property has excellent insulation, this may stop you having to turn the heating on so often throughout the winter. Small details like this build up over time and make a considerable difference to the energy efficiency of your house.
Once you have moved in, you should consider implementing environmentally friendly features in your house to save energy at home. This might include solar panels, a pond, renewable energy, reused wood and more.