Green moving

Q. Like most New Yorkers, I move to a new apartment basically every year or two. Any ideas for greening my next move? – Chris, NY

A. We Plenty staffers are NYC residents ourselves, so we feel your pain. First things first: plan ahead and decide way, way early what you’re not going to want to take with you to the new place. Then sort through your reject pile and give away or recycle as much of it as you can, so you don’t wind up just dumping it in the trash at 2am the night before you’ve got to clear out of the place. Think no one wants that Mickey Mouse snow globe you’ve had since third grade? Throw a post on Freecycle, and see what magic unfolds. 

Next: packaging. Don’t let us catch you wasting money on new cardboard boxes! Instead, save cash and trees by loitering outside your grocery store or street corner market around closing time, and asking for old boxes when they come out with the trash and recycling. Or try the liquor store, and transport all your earthly belongings in Corona Light, Sam Adams, or Grey Goose boxes. Don’t tell us that’s not fun. Or, does your workplace often get shipments of supplies in big boxes? Steal them.

You have options when it comes to packing fragile items, too. Instead of buying those nasty little Styrofoam peanuts (which decompose, oh, never), wrap picture frames and vases in soft towels, fluffy fleece jackets, or sweaters. There are biodegradable peanuts on the market now, but you’re still better off using linens and clothing. 

Lastly, if you want to go wholesale, try NYC-area green moving company Movers Not Shakers. Their motto is “Be on time, be nice, don’t change the price, don’t break anything.” And let’s be honest, that’s a whole lot more than most moving companies ask of themselves. Movers Not Shakers will deliver reusable plastic boxes to your house, or come and pack everything up for you while you’re at work. Either way, packaging is almost entirely eliminated, and the company uses trucks that run on biodiesel.

So moving green isn’t so hard, right? Getting your deposit check back from your landlady—different story. Good luck with that one. 

-         Tobin Hack

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