Tips for a Green and Eco-Friendly Move

Interior plants

Many New Yorkers reevaluated their city living situation and fled the city during the pandemic. Even though urban areas like New York offer many conveniences, they are obviously more expensive and crowded, which is definitely not a trend to follow this year. For those who are on the move, we need to address the environmental impact of this process. Let’s think green moving tips for eco-friendly living: how to cut down on fuel, boxes, and trash when relocating, so that our collective small changes can actually make a big difference.

At Jarret Yoshida Inc., we’re always thinking about sustainability in each of our projects and being mindful of Mother Earth. For example, we love integrating “found pieces” of furniture into designed environments and adding character to our clients’ residences. If you’re relocating, here are four tips for an eco-friendly move—all of them can be easily accomplished:

1. Think out of the box (literally)

You will always be surprised by the number of things you own, and how many boxes you will need to fit all the “stuff” you have. This generates a major need for paper or plastic boxes which translate into a big waste of resources after just one use. Just think of how many plastic storage containers you have holding things you will never use again. A possible solution? Reusable moving boxes. Many companies provide this service, some of them even offer delivery and pick-up, avoiding you to go back and forth. Another solution is certainly the easiest one: get creative when packing. Use clothes and towels to wrap delicate objects and prevent them from damage (only those that don’t need bubble wrap of course). This also means fewer boxes to move! Alternatively, go old school and just head over to the local big box store and ask them for empty boxes. Our grandparents and our parents usually moved this way and this is definitely a practice that is worth continuing.

2. Donate, Sell and Gift

How many times have you found knick-knacks you had stored away many moons ago but completely forgot about their existence? Those are usually the first things to be thrown in the trash, regardless of the materials they are made of. Think about gifting them to friends or relatives, or selling them on e-commerce platforms. For those of you who really want to make a difference, many places take donations: there is a wide range of organizations worldwide that accept non-cash items as donations for children or people in need. Just don’t move things you don’t need. Easier said than done, I know, but it is worth the effort. Start with just one thing and you’ll see what I mean.

3. Recycle

Recycling is definitely a practice that is timeless. One of the first things to do when getting rid of unwanted items or old clothes is to check what they are made of. Different materials and textiles need to be processed in different ways in order to be recycled, otherwise they will just be put on top of landfills without any further purpose. With old pieces of furniture, is there anything better than a touch of vintage in your new house? Or if you’re crafty, take the time to refurbish old furniture and give them a new life. We do this often for our clients, whether using a client’s existing furniture or buying something vintage. I hope you agree that it can make our interior environments look timeless.

4. Hire an eco-friendly moving company

Eco-friendly movers are certainly trending—these companies may be a bit more expensive, but they fuel their vehicles with biodiesel, haul our goods with reusable bins, and wrap items with biodegradable bubble wrap. Using eco-packing materials combined with the efficiency of transportation aimed at lowering the emissions of greenhouse gasses is definitely more earth-friendly.

Remember: countries may have borders but air and water don’t. We are all responsible for each other’s wellness and safety and, as Greta Thunberg stated, “There is no Planet B.”

About Jarret Yoshida

Jarret Yoshida has worked in the New York interior design world for more than two decades. With a varied portfolio of projects including residential and commercial spaces, he draws inspiration from his Asian interior designer heritage to create stylish, welcoming, and sophisticated design solutions.

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