So we moved. And moving tends, well, to generate garbage.
It’s not just the boxes and packing tape, it’s the years worth of “stuff” you’ve been storing in the basement, thinking you’ll get to later. Stuff that you don’t really want at your shiny new place. . . . I figured I owed it to myself (and you) to be open about the garbage that came from our move, so here’s the good and the bad on the waste front.
The Bad We had to wade through 7 years of “stuff” in the basement, and came out with: a grocery bag of odds and ends destined for he landfill (scraps of cloth, broken things, dried up paint and epoxy from art projects, 2 broken ski poles -someone help me with these), a few bags of recyclables (paper, soft plastics, scrap metal), and a woven rope rug which looks moderate on top and is disintegrating underneath (I’m considering using it to line a raised garden bed). I also (guiltily) used way too much of a roll of plastic packing tape that we had laying around.
The Good I borrowed a bunch of Rubbermaid containers from a friend which dramatically cut down on the number of cardboard boxes we used (if you don’t have a friend who moves so often that they actually bought a set of containers, try a service like frogbox). The cardboard boxes we did use were salvaged from the local beer store (saving both resources and our pocketbook). I used sheets, towels, and reused cardboard to protect dishes and such, eliminating the need for packing paper or bubble wrap. We also avoided the dreaded transfer station by getting rid of lots of stuff on craigslist and the local thrift stores.
I calculated we saved about 7 pounds of carbon by forgoing a huge moving truck and relying on people power, but we probably more than made up for it running “extra items” to a temporary storage locker.
In the end, our single bag of moving waste contributed to our 2010 garbage total being well above our Clean Bin Project year. I didn’t measure it, but I’m thinking it was at least 4 or 5 grocery bags for the year. Kind of sad, but also much better than we ever were before the project started.
Any green moving thoughts?