Packing everything you own into boxes and moving from one home to another is one of the most chaotic, disruptive times in anybody’s life. If ever there’s a day to forget all about the environment, it’s the day you move.
Intriguingly, Canada’s biggest and oldest moving companies don’t agree. Mayflower Canada, United Van Lines and many others now offer helpful, inexpensive green options to help you tread softly on the planet while moving to your new home.
“Moving, historically, has not been anything that’s been environmentally friendly,” says Lisa Hulet, vice-president of marketing for Mayflower Canada. “A lot of customers didn’t know there were alternatives.”
Mayflower launched it’s “Go Green” program late in 2009. Their trucks don’t idle, and conserve gas by not speeding. The company also offers a range of useful, eco-friendly services to make the process cleaner.
“Before the truck even arrives, the moving consultant would go into the customer’s house and talk about what they need to move, and what stuff they don’t want to move,” Hulet explains. “We have a partnership that can safely remove all your old electronics in an environmentally friendly manner.
Mayflower has forged an alliance with disposal company 1-800-Got-Junk, for example. Eighty per cent of its pickups are recycled, or distributed to charities.
“It’s about educating the consumer — and the movers themselves — to offer more environmental best practices,” Hulet notes. “For the customer, it’s about educating them before the moving truck even comes to the door.”
She adds that moving is the only time people ever have to deal hands-on with all their accumulated possessions at one time. It’s a perfect time for purging —and that’s a great chance to recycle.
“One of the saddest things, I think, is that storage is one of the fastest-growing industries in North America,” she concludes.