Two decades ago, physical moving projects used stacks and stacks of cardboard boxes to complete the move. Then, in the mid-1990s, the reusable moving crate emerged. These crates are easier to use, reduce loss/damage, are less expensive and are much more environmentally friendly than traditional cardboard boxes.
Reusable Crates by the Numbers:
- Crates produce 92% less total solid waste.
- They generate 28% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
- Production of crates requires 36% less total energy.
Crates reduce the number of truckloads needed for a move because they can be stacked higher than cardboard boxes, minimizing fuel consumption and harmful emissions.
Since the implementation of the reusable crate, organizations have become more interested in sustainability practices. In addition to using crates, there are certain best practices you can use to make your move an eco-friendly one.
Best Practices for a Green Move:
- Take a look at what isn’t moving at least three months before the move. This will allow you proper time to make arrangements to recycle or reuse unneeded items. Waiting until the last minute often results in throwing items away.
- Perform ‘Cleanup Days’ before the move with your staff. Make it fun by creating a ‘White Elephant’ table where staff members can donate or take unwanted items home (like that fluorescent-haired Troll doll sitting on your desk).
- Require your mover to use reusable materials for building protection.
- Use movers with trucks that run on biodiesel fuel.
- Look at any office sustainability practices that can be implemented into your new space. Relocations are a great time to change protocols.
- Host a ‘Tupperware Retrieval Day,’ where ‘orphan’ kitchen items (like mugs, Tupperware and vases} are boxed up and donated to charity.
- Same for office supplies: take only what you use to the new space and give the excess to a charitable organization or school.
- For all other items that are in good condition, provide collection containers so they can be diverted from going into a landfill.
Make sure you understand the policies and compliance issues for correctly disposing of electronics. You may want to look for a good salvage or decommissioning company to handle the decommission as they will often save you money.
These are just a few of the many strategies to save money and reduce adverse effects on the environment. If you’re overwhelmed, a relocation consultant may be a good idea for you. This downloadable checklist can to help you determine if a consultant is right for you.
Helen Dennis is the President and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service business relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.