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After going through the long process of finding and purchasing a new house, it’s finally time to move in! Considering eco-friendly options can and should start as you sign the papers and plan your move. Getting started on the right foot can set the tone and habits you want to kick off your move and environmentally conscious choices you’d like for your new house.
During the Move In
One of the larger-scale changes you can make is to look into moving companies that offer reusable packing crates, rather than cardboard boxes. You can also combine items to invent creative packing solutions and reduce the number of boxes you need. For example, instead of buying tons of filler paper or bubble wrap, use towels when you can as well to protect your loose items and save you from needing to pack your towels separately. Less boxes to move and parse through (plus the incentive to unpack faster to get to your towels!) creates less chaos and waste for you to deal with while trying to set up your new home.
Watch What You Bring In With You
Setting up and decorating a new house is a time where lots of new items and activity are making its way into your house, from painting to new furniture. Indoor air is notably more polluted than outdoor air and keeping an eye on what products and items you’re bringing into your house is one way to address this. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are present in a variety of items that off-gas and emit fumes and greatly contribute to indoor air pollution. Large furniture items are often major offenders since they often contain flame retardants. Look for healthier options like VOC-free mattresses and check if your desired paint color comes in a low-VOC option as well. With a little extra work and research beforehand, you can make selections to safeguard your home air quality.
Consider Your Energy Use
Invest in efficient sources if you’re replacing appliances to lower your energy bills and help improve your footprint on the environment. Switches could include solar options for all outdoor lighting, a tankless water heater or starting small by using power strips you can turn on and off for energy-blasting items like phone chargers when not in use. Energy-efficient large appliances are also becoming more the norm, improving the selection of items like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. Making them more accessible and easier to find for homeowners in a variety of price points and styles.
In addition to solar lights for your outdoor fixtures, another way you can make exterior eco-friendly choices is through your landscaping. Select plants native to your area, or ones that serve a purpose like a rock or rain garden for areas that often collect runoff water. Seed hardy grass that doesn’t need to be watered or mowed often. Or even get creative with your design and include more trees, mulched areas and banks of flowers to further cut down on lawn square footage that needs fertilizing and constant care to stay pristine.
Keep At It
Stay active in finding ways to swap in eco-conscious choices, the process doesn’t stop once you move in! Find natural cleaning products that work for your needs, ways to conserve water or creative ways to recycle unwanted items rather than tossing them. You can always continue to find ways, big and small, to save money and keep improving your home health through eco-friendly decisions while decreasing your impact on the environment.