How to Reduce Waste & Recycle During a Move

Moving can cause a ton of waste. From the books to the bubble wrap, there are plenty of things you will likely throw away during a move.

You don't have to waste when moving. There are several ways to reduce waste and recycle during a move. Here are some of the best ways to reduce waste and recycle when you're moving.

Don't Use Cardboard Boxes

While you can certainly recycle cardboard boxes, you don't have to use them at all. You can use reusable moving boxes to ensure you don't waste boxes after you've moved.

Did you know, if a cardboard box gets wet, it cannot be recycled? Often, moving boxes cannot be recycled for one reason or another and they end up as waste. However, when you rent reusable moving boxes, they don't have to be recycled because they end up being reused.

Use Things You Have for Packing Supplies

If you have old newspapers, old towels, t-shirts, and other soft things, use it for packing. You don't have to buy new packing supplies for your move. Even towels you plan to use when you arrive, you can use for packing fragile things. You can also use sheets, blankets, and anything else soft that you already own.

The soft things you don't plan to keep can be donated. The best way to reduce waste during a move is to not create new waste. By using things you already own as packing materials, you don't have to buy as much bubble wrap and you won't have to waste as much.

Eliminate What You Don't Need or Want

Before you start packing, take the time to go through everything you own and get rid of what you don't want. It can be donated or even thrown away, if necessary. Donate anything that can be reused by someone else from clothing to old appliances.

By going through everything you own, you'll reduce what you need to move, which will help you to create less waste. You can even have a yard sale if you want to make a bit of extra cash from your unwanted things.

Recycle Anything That's Recyclable

It doesn't have to be a cardboard box to be recycled. Check your local recycling program and see what they will take. Some places will take old packing paper and even bubble wrap. Even if it cannot be recycled through your municipality, you can reuse some things.

Maybe you have leftover bubble wrap or packing supplies. It may come in handy around the holidays if you need to ship any gifts to family members. If possible, store your packing supplies and use them as your main things to keep from having to buy new and waste the old.

There are several good ways to reduce waste and recycle when you're moving. Using plastic moving boxes is a good start and using your soft goods as packing materials can help, too. Make sure you use the tips above and come up with your own creative ways to reduce waste and recycle when moving.

Chicago GreenBox Recyclable Moving Boxes

Top Packing Tips for Moving in a Hurry

Sometimes, you have to move in a hurry. Maybe you don't have a choice and a last minute move is necessary. When this is the case, you need the right supplies and you need them in a hurry.

Reusable moving boxes should be rented and the right packing supplies will help, too. However, you still have to pack and move in a hurry. Here are some of the top tips you can use when moving in a hurry.

Downsize Fast

The less you need to pack, the faster you can move. If possible, downsize your things as quickly as you can. Donate or sell anything you don't need immediately. Take a day and get things listed on sites, such as eBay or Craigslist. If it's not something you want to sell, just donate it to the nearest thrift store.

Downsizes will give you fewer things to pack and make the work easier. You can even throw away things not worth donating or selling. Getting rid of anything you don't need or want will make your last minute move much easier.

Start Packing

When you know a move is coming months ahead of time, you can create a good plan and move through the process step-by-step. However, when you need to move in a hurry, you need to think less and pack more. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will be packed and ready for the moving company to pick up your things.

Usually, you want to pack in a way to make unpacking easier, but when you need to move fast, forget about it. Simply pack quickly and worry about sorting things out later. You will likely have more time to deal with unpacking, so worry about sorting things by room later on.

Use What You Already Have

Getting the right supplies can delay the process when you have to move fast. Once your Chicago GreenBoxes arrive, start packing. Use the things you already have, such as clothing and towels to help protect your breakable items.

A dog in a moving box ready to go!

Ask for Help

Moving in a hurry should be an "all hands on deck" type of situation. You need to pack, but you can ask for help from family and friends. Let them know you're in a hurry and you could really use the help. Even one extra person can make packing easier and faster.

Call a Moving Company ASAP

Moving companies often book up in advance, but may leave some room for a last-minute move. They could also have a cancellation or something else could happen freeing them up to help. As soon as you know you will be moving, call a local moving company to get on their books.

If they can help you with the move, you may also want to ask if they can help with the packing. If so, consider paying them to help as it can be a huge job to do on your own, in a hurry.

Moving is stressful. When you have to move in a hurry, it becomes even more stressful. Make sure you get started as soon as possible and use the tips above to ensure you get packed and moved as fast as possible.

4 Tips to Effectively Pack Your Moving Boxes

Getting your green moving boxes is just the start. Once you have the right boxes for your residential move, you have to effectively pack your moving boxes. The right packing strategy will go a long way in protecting your items.

If you're planning to move, you need to know how to pack your boxes. Here are five of the best tips to ensure you pack your moving boxes properly.

Pack Room-By-Room

An effective method of packing your moving boxes is to do it room-by-room. With this packing method, it's easy to get unpacked when you arrive at your new home.

Start with the bedrooms and move through the house one room at a time. Make sure everything is fully labeled and use a different color marker for each room. Label the boxes with the room and the contents of the box to make sure they end up in the right place when you arrive at your new home.

If you use the room-by-room packing method, you'll be glad you did when you arrive at your new home. It's a great way to ensure your moving boxes are properly packed for a successful move.

Don't Use Large Boxes for Heavy Items

Larger moving boxes can be tempting to use for all kinds of items. However, when you put heavy items in these boxes, you make an awkward box to carry even more awkward. The last thing you need is an injury when moving. Pack lighter things, such as pillows and baskets into larger moving boxes or trash bags and try to put heavier things into your green moving boxes as they are more sturdy.

It's best to consider grouping items by size and weight as you go through each room, too. The other danger of packing larger moving boxes with heavier items is the integrity of the box. If the box breaks, you could be in for all kinds of issues. Imagine a kitchen box filled with dishes breaking under the weight. It could be a huge mess. You won't have to worry about this with our reusable moving boxes!

A good rule of thumb for the weight of your boxes is to keep them under 30 pounds each.

Pack Lighter Items on the Top

Chicago Green Moving boxes being packed up by The Professionals

Putting heavier items on the bottom of the box is a good start. Then, you want to pack your lighter items on the top of those heavier items. This type of packing will allow your lighter items to survive the move without being crushed.

Wrap Everything That's Fragile

If it could break, wrap it. Use bubble wrap or packing paper to ensure anything fragile is protected from damage. You can even cushion the most fragile items with towels and other soft items you need to pack for the move.

Packing your boxes is important. Use these packing tips to ensure you make moving easier.

Top Common Packing Materials You Already Own & Can Reuse

You may think you need to invest in a ton of packing materials. However, you probably own plenty of things you can use for packing without buying cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and other supplies.

Before we get into the many common packing materials you already own and can use during your move, it's important to consider how these materials will be used. It's best to use these materials with the green boxes for added eco-friendliness and protection of your things. Renting green boxes will provide a better solution compared to purchasing cardboard boxes.

Here are some of the packing materials you can use that you already own.


You probably already know this, but you can pack up your suitcases for your move. However, don't waste your time using these for just clothing items. Instead, pack heavy electronics, DVDs, books, and games into the suitcases.

The wheels make these easier to move with heavier items. If you have suitcases without wheels, they work great for shoes, boots, and clothing items. You can also pack fragile items between the clothing for added protection.

Plastic Bags

If you're like many people, you have a ton of those plastic bags you get from grocery stores and other stores. These are great for packing up your belongings. They can work to fill in space in boxes or to wrap items up.

In addition, you can use plastic sandwich bags for small items or hardware when taking items apart.

Magazines, Junk Mail, Newspaper, Wrapping Paper

Instead of spending money on bubble wrap or packing paper, use the old magazines, junk mail, newspapers, and gift wrapping paper you already have. All of these items are great for packing and will save you from spending money or creating more waste.


You should never pack an empty hamper as it's simply a waste of space. Your hamper can be filled with toys, shoes, boots and other items. You can secure the top by putting a pillowcase over it or with a plastic sheet.

Towels, Linens, Blankets, and Clothing

When you have fragile items needing to be properly packed and protected, consider the soft items you also need to pack. Blankets, towels, linens, and clothing can all be used as packing materials.

Instead of wasting money on cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, you can rent Green Boxes and use your soft items as the packing materials. Not only will this protect your items well, but it will also give you a sturdier box to pack compared to cardboard.

A few other common packing materials you already own and can reuse include:

  • Twist ties for cords

  • Trash pails

  • Beer/Liquor boxes

  • Tupperware container

  • Baskets

  • Duffle bags, trash bags, backpacks, gift bags, and other bags

  • Drawers

  • Yarn

Anything soft can be used to help protect items, while many of the things you will be packing offer unused space you can use as a "box", such as a hamper or drawers.

These creative solutions, paired with the right Green Boxes will go a long way to making your move more eco-friendly. Make sure you consider what you already own and how you can use it for packing.

Movers using a couch to move other items to save on boxes/supplies

How to Make Your Commercial Move be an Eco-Friendly Project

Moving from one commercial space to another is a big task. Maybe you're moving for a better location or for lower overhead. No matter the reason, you should be looking into how to move in the most eco-friendly way possible. Here are some of the best tips to ensure your commercial move is as eco-friendly as possible.

Use Eco-Friendly Moving Boxes

Your commercial move has to include eco-friendly; reusable moving boxes if you want it to be an eco-friendly project. Using cardboard boxes just won't cut it, even if you recycle those boxes after moving. Not only is cardboard much worse for the environment, but it's also not nearly as strong as green moving boxes.

When you choose green moving boxes, you're using a box that can be reused by many people after you before it must be replaced. You're choosing a box that's rigid and will better protect your business items as you move. It's simply a better choice for the environment and for your overall move.

Choose Eco-Friendly Packing Materials

While it all starts with the boxes, you want to make sure you also use plenty of environmentally-friendly packing materials. Instead of buying rolls of commercial bubble wrap, get biodegradable bubble wrap. You can also use newspaper, egg cartons, blankets, towels, and other reusable items as packing materials.

Hire the Right Green Moving Company

Some moving companies simply don't care about the environment, but others are very eco-friendly. When you choose a moving company committed to eco-friendly practices, they will use trucks running on cleaner fuels and they will provide reusable moving boxes as a part of their business model.

Take the time to look for a commercial moving company willing to go the extra mile for the environment. If they don't have eco-friendly moving practices in place, you may want to keep looking.

Limit the Number of Trips Made

Moving is a big deal and commercial moving usually doesn't mean you're leaving the city. Instead, you may be moving to a bigger location or a better location. You don't need to make a ton of trips in between these two locations to move, however.

Instead of trying to make small trips here and there, make the fewest number of trips possible. When you take fewer trips, you won't use as much fuel and it will be a more eco-friendly move. Don't move things little by little. Hire a moving company to move as much as possible on moving day and if you must move things ahead of time, pack your vehicle as full as you can to eliminate multiple trips.

With the right green moving boxes, the right packing materials, and the right eco-friendly moving company, you can make your commercial move an eco-friendly project. You don't have to let the environment suffer just because you're moving to a better location for your business.

Take the time to use these tips and put other eco-friendly practices in place. Once you're in the new location, you can also implement many new practices to ensure your business is as eco-friendly as possible.

Office Moving button on a keyboard

Make a Difference by Using Green Moving Boxes

Recycling your cardboard boxes after moving is good enough, right? You're still being eco-friendly and helping the environment, at least that's what you think.

You've seen the stats and you know that each ton of recycled cardboard and paper will save 17 trees, about 7,000 gallons of water and free up 3.5 cubic yards of landfill area. This is why you recycle your cardboard boxes after moving but are you really making the difference you think you're making?

Your Recycling Might Not be Recycled Anymore

Due to changes in China, as detailed in this article from The New York Times, when you recycle cardboard, plastic, and paper, it may still be going to the landfill. Since China no longer accepts "foreign garbage" and a large portion of recycled materials from the U.S. were sent to China for processing, your cardboard boxes from moving may end up in a landfill, even if you put them in the recycling bin.

Not All Cardboard can be Recycled

In addition to the fact that your recycling may end up in a landfill, not all cardboard can be recycled. If it gets wet or has something spilled on it, you may not be able to recycle it. This means if you move and it rains or snows on the day of your move, you may end up with boxes that have to go in the garbage, not the recycling.

A pile of destroyed cardboard moving boxes

Just because you plan to recycle cardboard moving boxes after your move doesn't mean you're moving in the most eco-friendly way. Not to mention, the process to manufacture cardboard moving boxes isn't even close to environmentally-friendly.

Manufacturing Cardboard

When cardboard is created, every step of the process produces hazardous gasses. These gasses are sent out into the air every single day. While recycling cardboard has helped to eliminate about half of these gasses, not using cardboard at all will eliminate even more.

Manufacturing companies are starting to look at the way they create cardboard to emit less of these gasses. However, they are not the only ones that have to do their part. When you move, you don't have to use cardboard boxes. You can choose green moving boxes made to be reused instead of recycled or thrown away.

Why Choose Green Moving Boxes?

When you use cardboard, you risk ending up with boxes you cannot recycle. In addition, a wet box could lead to damaged items. With green moving boxes, you don't have to worry about rain or snow, as they won't be weakened by moisture.

Green moving boxes are produced once and used hundreds, if not thousands of times before needing to be replaced. A cardboard box is only used once for moving, and then either tossed in the trash or in the recycling, which may end up in the trash, anyway.

If you want to move in an eco-friendly way, don't think that recycling your cardboard boxes is enough. While it may seem friendly to the environment, you may not be able to recycle all your boxes and your recycling may end up in a landfill, anyway.

Instead, choose green moving boxes to ensure you move in the most eco-friendly way possible. These boxes don't get recycled because they get reused. They are rigid and will better protect your belongings, along with better protecting the environment.

3 Tips to Live More Eco-Friendly After Your Move

After moving in an eco-friendly way and using Chicago green moving boxes, why not continue the trend? There is no better time than when you first move into a new house or apartment to live a more eco-friendly life.

You don't need to make massive changes to become more environmentally-friendly, either. Little changes to the things you buy and use can make a big difference, especially over time. Here are three tips to help you live a more eco-friendly life.

Conserve Energy at Every Corner

One of the best things you can do is set up practices in your new homes for energy conservation. For example, if you're not in a room, shut off the light. This may seem easy, but it's not easy if you're not in this habit.

In addition to simply turning off lights and other things you're not using, you can invest in eco-friendly devices and appliances. If you're buying a new house or remodeling the kitchen, buy the highest EnergyStar rated appliances to ensure you'll consume less energy. You can also do this with electronics and many other devices within your home.

Switching to LED light bulbs will also make a difference. LEDs last longer than a conventional bulb and they use less energy. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to help make your home more eco-friendly.

Not only will conserving energy help you to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but it will also help you to save money. With the right energy conservation practices, you may even see a noticeable difference in your monthly energy bills.

Recycle as much as Possible

Recycling is a great way to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and many things can be recycled. Just about everything made of plastic can be recycled, along with batteries, paper, cars, and so many other things.

Before you decide you're going to throw something out, consider whether it can be recycled. If you live in a condo or apartment building and they don't offer recycling, find your nearest option for dropping off your recycling. You can also lobby the management staff to provide recycling, which would help to make your entire building more eco-friendly.

Along with recycling, be aware of the products you buy and what they are packaged in. Buying less plastic and less Styrofoam make a difference. When you shop, use canvas bags for your fruits and vegetables and bring reusable grocery bags.

Start Shopping Local

When you buy local, you're living a much more eco-friendly lifestyle than you might imagine. Buying local means the products were likely made and bought much closer to home, which means they didn't leave a carbon footprint to arrive in the store. Farmer's markets, local grocery stores, small businesses and artisans carrying goods they made themselves are all good options.

In addition, when you shop local, you'll be supporting the local economy.

These three tips are just the start of becoming more eco-friendly. There are several other small changes you can make in your new home to ensure you're living the most eco-friendly life possible. It started with your eco-friendly move with Chicago Green Boxes and now it can continue with your new home.

green living sign

5 Tips for Labeling Your Moving Boxes

Moving is one of the most disorganized times in anybody's life. The funny thing, it's one of the times you really need to be organized. For most people, however, this type of transitional period comes with disorganizing.

You don't have to have a disorganized moving day. With the right (green) boxes, the right packing supplies, and plenty of time to work, you can get ready to move in an organized way. One of the keys to moving organization is labeling your moving boxes. Here are five tips to help you label your moving boxes properly.

Create a System

Start by creating your labeling system. Choose a set of quality markers in different colors, specifically bright colors, if possible. Don't use an ordinary pen or something super simple when you can use a much better set of markers. Place tape over the box and write on the tape directly to not ruin the boxes!

Along with markers, you want colored tape and labels to make your life easier. You can use colored tape to help match the boxes and make them easier to spot. In addition, printable moving box labels can be used to make labeling each box easier. You can get labels for fragile boxes and more.

Color Codes Work

Assign a color to each room of the house. For example, you can use the blue marker for the MASTER BEDROOM and the red marker for the KITCHEN. Match your colored tape to the color of the marker and you'll be able to easily spot which box goes with which room when you arrive at your new home.

While you may know the color system, you need to let your movers in on the secret, too. Tape a piece of paper to the doors of your new home matching the color assigned to that room. This, along with communicating to your movers will make it really easy to deliver the boxes into the right rooms in your new home.

Create and Label an "Open First Box"

An open first box should have everything you need for the first night or two in your new home. This box should be labeled in big, bold letters as the OPEN FIRST BOX. It should be very easy to spot and if you need more than one don't be afraid to pack a couple of open first boxes. It's best if you pack these last so they are easy to get to when you arrive and they come out of the truck first.

Use Fragile on Anything Breakable

Labeling a box as fragile tells the person handling it to be careful. Don't just slap one sticker saying fragile on the top. Label the box as fragile on every single side to ensure there is no way the movers or yourself will miss the message.

Fragile Moving Box Label

Label Each Box as Soon as it's Packed

There is no better time than right after you put in the last item to label your box. If you wait, you will likely forget what's in it. Instead, you can label the box before you start packing it with the assigned color and room. Then, you can write down each item on the side of the box, as you put it in the box.

With these five tips for labeling your green moving boxes, you will be far more organized for your move. Organization during a move will help to keep the stress down and make the experience much easier.