Monday, March 9, 2009

Movin' On Up...To The Green Side

You may have noticed that I have been MIA for the past several weeks. This was not because I didn’t have green altercations to report on, but rather, we moved!

I’ve moved at least a dozen times in my life but back then, I never considered the impact a move has on the environment. My aunt, on the other hand, considered the impact moving would have on me before I did. She sent me an email which said “I was thinking about your move and decided I had better warn you to take a couple of Xanax or Valium -- they're going to use a lot of paper and cardboard to pack your stuff. Be prepared!!!!!”

She was right.

I packed all of the boxes myself. I picked up most of them from Uhaul. They have a “leave a box, take a box” program. We took many boxes and will definitely replenish their supply. I also like how they encourage you to reuse and recycle the boxes. Because we were moving to a 6th floor walk-up, I had to use smaller boxes that would weigh less. I wound up with 115 boxes!

As I summed up the damage I thought to myself, all those trees died so that I could move. This did not sit well with me. And it was about to get worse.

We had to hire movers, which in terms of getting the stuff down the 3 flights and up the 6 flights was a life-saver for us, but not the planet. While I had packed mostly everything, the movers took care of electronics and furniture. As they started to wrap the furniture, I almost hyperventilated. They had a giant roll of plastic wrap which they wove around the items again, and again, and again. The furniture was wrapped in their blankets. Phew. Until they began to secure the blanket with rolls of tape.

I had to turn away when it came time to package our precious TV and computer. The man opened up a giant ream of paper and began crumbling it up and throwing it into the boxes. They lay the equipment down and crumpled up some more paper to cover them up. I used towels to wrap my delicates…couldn’t they find old towels?

Imagine this times the hundreds, if not thousands, of people that move everyday! Were they bringing their boxes back to Uhaul?

I gingerly unwrapped the electronics and salvaged most of the paper. I plan on giving this as an added bonus to those who take my boxes.

This whole move made me re-think the amount of stuff I own as well. I definitely need to consume less. We're all told to think outside the box. I need to learn how to think outside 115 of them.