Sustainable Student Stress Syndrome: Green Moving Guide

Thursday, July 12, 2012

shoes, clothes, grunge, hanging

Are you a student? Are you stuck doing that thing where you pack your life into boxes and relocate to another place in the near future? Are you stressed and overridden with tonnes of stuff that you realize you don’t really need in your new place?
(If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should probably continue reading. If not, maybe read anyways or continue browsing this blog for something more applicable to you.)

Moving sucks, the effort that is required to sort through your junk and meticulously wrap your breakables is an arduous task at best. Hopefully some of these tips will help make the process a bit easier.


1. Gather the necessary packing equipment 

DOs:
Boxes- can be found on campus in “cardboard” recycling bins, be sure to recycle them after/give to others in the moving process!

Crates- ask local stores (such as grocery stores) if they have any that you can borrow, some are surprisingly friendly if you offer to put a “deposit” down

Grocery Bags- finally a use for all of your reusable grocery bags that you have been hoarding and best of all, they have handles! (then you can also recycle those bags on campus afterwards)

DON’Ts:
Garbage bags- the amount of stuff we gathered in the dump and run that was in garbage bags… they rip, people. Those tv commercials that show them being dragged to the curb are inflating the truth, trust me. After they tear, not reusable=sad landfill.

Tape- you use so much tape? Be stingy with your tape, your boxes are not going to come unfolded if you pack properly and load them strategically into your moving vehicle.


2. Take your time


DO:
Start early and take your time sorting through all of your possessions- by early, I mean weeks early. Do a bit here and there so you do not get stressed trying to sort through things when time is running out.

Create different piles- to determine what is coming with you and what you want to donate. The University of Ottawa has a permanent freestore location beside the King Edward community garden that has a large wooden donation box on its’ front stoop to place your stuffz in. Use it!

DON’T:
Leave it to the last minute- pulling your hair and having a breakdown is NOT conducive to proper mental moving health. The night before is not a great time to go through all of your worldly possessions and decide what stays or goes. Not to mention, you will end up throwing a tonne of stuff to the curb rather than recycling, composting (all that delish food you have been piling up in your fridge and freezer), and donating your unwanted goods.


3. Know your resources

DO:
Sustainably transport - pool your friends and see what sort of transportation options are available to you. Do you require a UHaul (if so, pick a date that you and a few other friends can use it) or can you make a few trips by bike for the smaller items and simply need a team of fit individuals to walk a block with your mattress? Think logically, and sustainably (what are the environmental, social, and economic impacts of my move?)

Take advantage of your campus Freestore- give us your stuff. We have an awesome house that is dedicated to gathering your unwanted goods and redistributing it around campus and the community. Remember: Reduce, REUSE, and then Recycle! Come visit us with your donations!
DON'T


  • make seventeen trips across the City through rush hour where you will be stuck in traffic
  • idle your vehicle while unpacking (just turn on your emergency flashing lights)
  • park in front of curb cuts that people need for accessibility reasons (cough cough Brooks Residence Complex cough cough)
  • Dump your unwanted stuff on the curb!


There you go, follow these steps and hopefully your move is blissful and sustainable!

~ Meriss - sustainable campus coordinator
photo credit - kira lamont

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