I’ve moved a lot of times in the last 25 years but my move last month was the first time I’ve done a green move.

Now that I’m unpacked, I’m wanted to share my 6 moving tips to make your move more environmentally friendly.

6 Green Moving Tips | Future Expat

1. Plastic Crates Instead of Boxes

Most people are aware of 2 options for obtaining boxes for their move.

Many people purchase new boxes from their full service moving company or the local UHaul.

Others save money and go greener by reusing boxes. When I moved the first few times, I would go to the local grocery store and ask for boxes. The last time I moved, I was offered boxes from a neighbor who had recently moved onto my street.

I also know people who have purchased used boxes on sites like craigslist.

But there is a better option than using cardboard boxes.

6 Green Moving Tips | Future Expat

When STL Rent A Box agreed to let me try their plastic moving boxes for free in exchange for sharing my experience on my blogs, I was really excited to try an alternative to standard moving boxes.

Of course, one of the first things I did after my plastic moving crates were dropped off was to let Milo check them out.

Milo doesn’t seem so sure about the crates. I think they reminded him too much of shopping carts (which he is terrified of) and didn’t like being so far from the ground.

While Milo may not have been enamored with the crates, I loved them from the start.

Reusable plastic crates are much easier to use than cardboard boxes. They come fully assembled and stack out of the way until you are ready to pack. After packed, they nest securely and there are no worries that a heavy box will crush the box below.

And you won’t use a single roll of packing tape!

When you are done, the company providing the plastic moving boxes picks them up from your new home so you don’t have to figure out what to do with all of the empty cardboard boxes.

Here’s an overview video that I put together for my sponsored post on Arch City Homes.


If you are planning a move and don’t live in the St. Louis region, check to see if your area has a plastic box moving service. If you don’t find one, check for companies that provide moving services to businesses because these crates are also perfect for office moves.

2. Paper Bubble Wrap

Anyone who has moved knows that it takes a ton of bubble wrap to protect your breakable items in moving boxes.

The problem with bubble wrap is that it can’t go in your recycle bin.

I will admit that I did use a little bit of bubble wrap that I had saved over the years or was given to me by a relative who did a recent move. I’m a big believer in reusing items whenever possible. If you have access to used bubble wrap, go ahead and use it and then pass it on to someone else when you are done instead of throwing it into your trash.

The best alternative to purchasing bubble wrap is Green Wrap. I was provided a roll of Green Wrap to try from STL Rent A Box to protect almost all of my fragile items.

Not only did I use the green wrap for my glass items, but I also used it to wrap up all of my necklaces.

Buy Green Wrap in St. Louis

3. Use Your Linens to Protect Your Valuables

While I loved using the green wrap for protecting my dishes and glasses, I only needed one roll of green wrap because I used my towels and sheets to protect many of my fragile items.

Instead of packing all of my linens into a single crate, I used them between glass platters and wrapped all kinds of things in them.

Some of the items you can use to protect fragile items are:

  • bath towels
  • kitchen towels
  • sheets
  • cleaning rags

You can even use tablecloths and throw pillows at the top of a crate to add additional cushioning and fill gaps so the things inside don’t move around.

4. Move Oversized Items by Car

6 Green Moving Tips | Future Expat

If you are moving locally, the best way to move oversized fragile items is in your own car.

In order for movers to take lamps, they wrap each lampshade in a large box and then the lamp base goes in a second box. Large mirrors and artwork also go into huge boxes with a ton of bubble wrap to protect them.

Not only do these oversized boxes and bubble wrap cost money, but they end up in landfills or recycle bins. If you simply put these items in your car and use your pillows and blankets between them as cushioning, you will have a much cheaper and greener move.

5. Contractor Trash Bags

6 Green Moving Tips | Future Expat

I didn’t realize how many pillows and blankets I owned until I started packing. I used most of the blankets and a couple of pillows to protect the items being transported by car, but the rest needed to get packed so the movers would take them.

You could use regular trash bags or yard waste bags, but it’s worth going to the hardware store and purchasing a box of contractor trash bags. These heavy duty black bags are huge and will hold several pillows and blankets each. When you are all unpacked, you can use the trash bags to get ride of things that would rip regular trash bags.

6. Recycle

While my tips above are aimed at reducing the need for cardboard boxes and wrapping materials, it’s simply not possible to move without using some boxes and throw away materials.

After your move, save for future use anything you think you can reuse. Give away excess boxes and bubble wrap so it can be used again. If you don’t know anyone moving, consider placing an ad on craigslist. You can probably sell the items for a few dollars or unload them quickly by offering them for free.

Anything that isn’t able to be reused should go into your recycle bin if possible.

What did I miss?

Share your moving tips by leaving a comment below.