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Sustainable Moving: 7 Tips for an Eco-Friendly NJ Relocation

Sustainable Moving: 7 Tips for an Eco-Friendly NJ Relocation

Moving to your new NJ home might be exciting, but there’s also a lot of waste that goes into the process. You’ll often purchase one-time use items and, considering the average American moves 11.7 times in their life, that ends up being a lot of waste. Even if you manage to recycle things like boxes or bubble wrap, it’s not always the best option for the environment. If you remember the three R’s initiative, recycle is the last R with reduce and reuse before it.

Luckily, it’s fairly simple to reduce your carbon footprint for your next NJ move. Just follow the eco-friendly tips below!

Use Containers You Already Own

Sure, you’ll probably need to buy some boxes, but chances are you have plenty of potential containers you can use on hand. If you’re hiring professional NJ movers, you will have to properly pack everything you own either in boxes or plastic bins. However, if you’re going the DIY route you have more flexibility when it comes to types of containers. Some options include:

  • Plastic bins
  • Suitcases
  • Gym or duffel bags
  • Trash bags
  • Reusable grocery totes

And more. If you can fit multiple items inside of it then use it! Of course, you don’t want to just throw any and everything into random containers. You should still keep your belongings organized and pack up items by room and use. So if you’re packing up your bathroom, you can use a small grocery bag or tote to store all the items under your sink. Have small containers for your food? Use these to hold small items like hair accessories, jewelry, makeup brushes, etc. The more of your own containers you can use, the more you can avoid purchasing boxes.

Reuse Cardboard Boxes

Online shopping has replaced in-person shopping for a lot of people. While it’s not the most sustainable shopping option, it’s perfect if you have an impending move. After all, your shipped items will likely come in boxes, which you can then reuse for your move. Of course, you don’t want to hold onto boxes forever so only start collecting once you have firmed up your move date. One of the benefits of cardboard boxes over plastic bins is that you can easily break them down for easy storage around your house or apartment.

You don’t need to keep every box. Obviously get rid of any that are ripped or in bad condition. From there, keep the ones that will hold a decent amount of items. Yes, you can keep the smaller boxes if you like, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth to pack and tape these up.

If you’re not able to save enough boxes on your own, don’t buy new ones! Instead, look for used ones. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they saved any from previous moves or packages. Did any neighbors move in recently? See if they have any leftover boxes. The worst they can say is no! You should also reach out to your local grocery and liquor stores as they will often have leftover boxes from their shipments. The best part is that those boxes are meant to handle heavy items so they’re sturdier than your standard online shopping boxes.

Once your move is complete, pass the favor forward and see if there’s anywhere in your new neighborhood that needs boxes. If no one takes you up on the offer, make sure to recycle!

Rent Reusable Plastic Bins

Don’t want to deal with assembling and breaking down cardboard boxes? Then why not rent plastic bins? Ask your moving company if they offer this service. If they do, then consider renting some out to fill in the gaps for whatever items you might still need to pack. It’s not the cheapest option, but it is eco-friendly. After all, the plastic bins can be reused for many years to come so long as they don’t get damaged. On top of that, the bins come with a hard plastic snap top, which means you don’t need to worry about tape. Plus, the plastic construction also means it is water and dust proof!

Before you decide to pack everything into these rented plastic bins, you should consider the downsides:

  • It’s expensive – the price goes up the more bins you rent out and the longer you rent it
  • You can’t pack your items until the bins are delivered – most moving companies will deliver the pins 2-3 days before the day of the move so you’ll have to rush to pack
  • You have to return the bins – it should go without saying, but renting a bin means you need to return them to the NJ moving company you used. While the movers will pick it up themselves, this means that you have to unpack your items ASAP so you don’t get charged additional fees

Still, plastic bins are a great option if you only need a few boxes to fit your remaining belongings. And while they might be plastic, it can be reused hundreds if not thousands of times.


The easiest way to make your NJ move greener is to move less stuff. Fewer belongings means less weight in the moving truck AND less moving supplies you need to get. Plus, why bring a bunch of stuff you don’t use to your new home? You’re starting in a new home so why not get rid of items that no longer fit your needs.

Decluttering might sound simple, but it’s not always easy especially if you’re someone who tends to hang onto things “just in case.” But ask yourself, how often do those situations actually happen? Put aside a few days a month or so before your move to go through every single item you own. That includes little things like pens, hair clips, etc. Separate into three piles: Keep, Donate/Sell, Throw out. Your throw out pile should be the easiest to start with as you can get rid of broken and/or severely damaged items.

When it comes to deciding what to keep and what to donate, it’s a bit harder. Ideally, you should donate anything that you haven’t used in the past year that is still in good condition. Of course, things like holiday decorations or family heirlooms may fall into this column, but you’re better off leaving sentimental items for last. Instead, focus on things like clothes, shoes, appliances, and so on. Do you really need that many shoes and ties? If you’re able to whittle down your belongings by half, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and energy packing. Plus, you can sell any items that are in good condition at a garage sale for some quick and easy cash.

Get Creative with Packing Materials

You don’t always want to skimp on packing materials, especially for things like tape and bubble wrap for expensive, delicate items. However, you can get away with using household items for almost everything else.

  • Glassware – fill the inside with paper and wrap the outside in clean socks
  • Plates and bowls – wrap these with old newspapers, pillowcases, or magazines
  • Knives – if you don’t have a knife block, you can use old newspapers or pieces of cardboard taped together to protect the blade. After that, you can wrap with an additional layer of a dishcloth or old t-shirt
  • Beauty products – put them away in a small plastic container or plastic bag. For things like lotion, tape the lids shut so they don’t accidentally open during the move.

In order to pack your boxes properly, you will also need to fill in any gaps/empty spaces to prevent jostling during your move. So if you have half-filled boxes, fill up the space with dishrags, bedding, towels, etc.

Choose Eco-Friendly Packing Supplies

As more people express concern for the environment, more companies are offering sustainable options and that goes for the packing industry. Obviously, cardboard boxes are recyclable, but did you know you can also get eco-friendly versions of almost every supply out there? The issue, of course, is cost. Sustainable options tend to be much more expensive than your standard options. Still, if having an eco-friendly relocation is important to you, then the extra cost might be worth it for your own peace of mind.

Almost everything nowadays can be replaced by greener products including:

  • Packing peanuts – you can look for biodegradable options made from corn, wheat, or potato starch. They dissolve in water so you can even throw them into the compost pile after you are done and they are non-toxic to pets and humans
  • Bubble wrap – opt for paper bubble wrap instead of plastic. Paper options are recyclable and biodegradable making it a perfect option. There is also plastic bubble wrap made from recycled materials and is, of course, 100% recyclable.
  • Packing tape – your standard plastic tape is not only not recyclable, you will have to remove it from all of your boxes in order to recycle the boxes. There are luckily paper-based tapes available on the market that uses a natural water-activated adhesive. Plus, it’s recyclable!

Find and Eco-Friendly NJ Moving Company

If you’re hiring professional movers to do the work for you, you can still make your move a green one. Even if they don’t have an electric fleet, professional movers are much more efficient than the average person. Not only can they quickly load and unload all of our belongings, they also know the fastest route between your two homes, especially if you’re hiring local movers. That means less gas wasted in traffic or trying to find a parking spot. And if you hire them to pack your stuff, they also know how to pack more efficiently. After all, they do this on a daily basis and receive training! You can also ask potential moving companies during your research phase what their sustainable practices are, if any.

If you plan on renting a truck or van, research its emissions rating. Some companies even rent out electric trucks and vans as part of their fleet. Obviously, the range of an EV vehicle will be limited, so it’s more suited to moves in the same neighborhood rather than 3-4 hours away.

Make Your NJ Move a Green One!

A sustainable move doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does require some planning and coordination. And being eco-friendly doesn’t stop at the move! If you’re trying to lead a more sustainable life, think of ways you can make your new house more eco-friendly. That might mean investing in energy efficient appliances, installing LED lights, sealing any air cracks, getting curtains for your rooms, and more. All of these little things can help the environment and your wallet.

If you need some help finding the right materials or suggestions on packing, make sure to give NJ Great Movers a call. We’ll provide guidance every step of the way.


How can I dispose of hazardous materials in an environmentally friendly way?

It depends on the type of materials you are disposing of. For cleaning products, your best bet is to either use it up or give it away. If you can’t do either, read the label as that should provide proper instructions. For batteries, go to places like Home Depot or Best Buy to drop them off. If you are recycling electronics with lithium ion batteries, you can also drop these off at Best Buy, but you can also contact your local sanitation department as they often have tech disposal days.

What should I do with furniture I don’t plan on bringing with me?

If the furniture is in good shape consider selling or donating it. You can also let the movers know that they can take it and they might either bring it home with them or fix it up and flip it. Otherwise, contact the local sanitation department and let them know you have a bulk disposal.

Are there places where I can recycle damaged/ripped clothes?

It depends on where you live. If you live close to larger cities, there are some services that will take your old clothes and recycle them for you. Do a google search for textile recycling near you to see if there’s anything similar.


  • NJ Great Movers

    NJ Great Movers, spearheaded by a dedicated team of experts, is revolutionizing the moving industry. As the driving force behind this venture, our commitment to excellence is evident in every relocation we handle. With a wealth of experience, we've earned a reputation for seamless transitions and impeccable service. Trust us to make your move memorable, as we redefine the standards of excellence in the world of moving and logistics.


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  • NJ Great Movers

    NJ Great Movers, spearheaded by a dedicated team of experts, is revolutionizing the moving industry. As the driving force behind this venture, our commitment to excellence is evident in every relocation we handle. With a wealth of experience, we've earned a reputation for seamless transitions and impeccable service. Trust us to make your move memorable, as we redefine the standards of excellence in the world of moving and logistics.

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