Moving Doesn’t Have to Be Wasteful

January 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Life Less Plastic

I have to admit something. When I was packing up my apartment back in June, I had a lot of I-should-just-throw-this-out moments.

You know what I mean. You’re standing in your kitchen tossing utensils and cans of kidney beans into a box and you come across something you can’t imagine bringing to your new place. Maybe it’s a half-full box of pasta or a stray teabag. Who knows.

Either way, you’re so exhausted that the very prospect of carrying eight ounces of pasta or a half-ounce teabag the thirty feet out to the moving van seems like a serious waste of energy.

I think it happens to everybody, but I’m happy to say that I resisted the temptation to trash everything and start over. Instead, I mustered up the strength, put everything I had into boxes, and moved it all to my new apartment. I didn’t toss a single thing out…except for one mostly dead aloe plant that someone ended up rescuing anyway.

And I have to say, moving those extra few boxes really wasn’t bad, especially when you consider that I probably saved myself a fair amount of money by keeping those useful things.

Mind you, I did give a lot of clothes and shoes to Goodwill, but I didn’t ditch everything in the dumpster.

THIS, I must point out, is more than I can say for the guy who moved out of my building last weekend. I’ve never seen anything like it. The day he moved out, he scrapped the following:

  • a beautiful vintage couch (which got rained on before I could put up an add on Craigslist’s free section)
  • an antique radio
  • curtains
  • sheets
  • a drying rack (this is mine now, I needed one)
  • books
  • nice wooden hangers
  • a bucket (mine now, too)
  • a plant stand
  • a cooler
  • and much, much more

It was ridiculous. He threw away things he surely could have used in his new home, like food and hangers, as well as things he could have donated or sold to other people. It was really sad.

But why be sad? Moving doesn’t have to be wasteful because the following resources and organizations can help you make your next move more eco-friendly.


  • – Connect with people who are giving old moving boxes away.
  • – Buy moving boxes that have been rescued from large companies that might otherwise recycle them or simply throw them away.
  • Freecycle – Give your unwanted things to others who will cherish them. Note that people give moving boxes away on this site ALL the time.
  • Craigslist – Sell unwanted items or create a post in the “free” section. You can even do this for stuff you’re leaving in your alley.
  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army

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