More than 50 million people in North America move every year. The average U.S. resident moves 11 times in a lifetime. Moving can be stressful and expensive, and it can also create negative impacts on the environment.
- Shipping and towing consume fossil fuel, thus releasing greenhouse gases.
- Packing household items into cardboard boxes costs us trees.
- Throwing away old stuff increases the amount of waste in landfills.
U-Haul sustainable moving practices make moving a satisfying experience and help save natural resources and energy. Here are 10 environmentally-friendly moving choices you can make that will save you money, and help your community!
- Share a truck
The average annual cost to own a large-capacity vehicle (e.g., pickup trucks, SUVs, vans) is about $9,000. Instead of buying a large-capacity vehicle (for occasional transport of large items), you can rent a U-Haul truck or trailer for those occasions, and move more items at one time. On average, a U-Haul truck rental saves 87% of driving for the purpose of moving large items (as compared to back-and-forth trips in a smaller vehicle).
- Drive less
Always search for the closest location to rent a moving truck. Every mile closer eliminates 12 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions. With more than 15,000 convenient neighborhood locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, U-Haul is the sustainable choice.
- Drive smart
Change your driving behavior. For example, adjusting driving speed by checking the U-Haul exclusive fuel economy gauge and reducing idling time can significantly improve fuel efficiency.
- Avoid “dirty” diesel
Mile for mile, diesel trucks release more toxic air contaminants, cancer-causing soot, and smog-forming emissions than gasoline-powered trucks. Greenhouse gas emissions from a gallon of diesel are 15% higher than those from a gallon of gasoline. That’s why all U-Haul rental trucks use cleaner-burning unleaded fuel.
- Compare efficiency
To increase moving efficiency, select a truck that maximizes loading space. Rent a trailer to tow behind your truck rental if you have an even larger move. Plan your trip carefully so you don’t have to drive “unlimited miles.” Remember to consider taking a big truck when moving In-Town and help save the environment by making fewer trips.
- Donate unwanted household goods
When you move, many no-longer needed items in your home can be reused either by your neighbors or someone else. U-Haul Re-Use Centers in many U-Haul storage facilities have been developed to provide a redistribution network for gently used household goods, materials, furniture, sporting equipment, bikes and clothing that formerly went to landfills.
- Reuse boxes
Share your reusable moving boxes online at uhaul.com or through our Take a Box, Leave a Box Program in all U-Haul stores. Take advantage of FREE boxes that environmentally-aware customers no longer need. When you’re done, bring back the boxes you don’t need to help the next customer.
- Purchase environmentally-friendly packing supplies
Choose moving supplies (moving pads and packing peanuts) that contain a high percentage of recycled and/or biodegradable content.
- Take advantage of self-storage space
Use self-storage space conveniently located in your local community instead of your own home, which will enable you to live comfortably in a more compact, affordable locale. Shared use of self-storage facilities also helps reduce construction of oversized residential and commercial buildings, saving tons of concrete and building materials and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the generation of waste.
- Recycle waste
Separate recyclables (e.g., plastic, glass, paper, aluminum) from waste and contact your local waste-collection agency for proper disposal. Many local grocery stores collect plastic grocery bags. Electronics stores and/or local non-profits can recycle used computers, cell phones and other electronics.