Ok - I'm sorta cheating. Because I don't think it's that challenging to make a move "zero waste". But I'm moving in three days so I get to start with an easy one!
When I talk about waste around moving, I'm not just talking about the packing materials. I'm talking money. A move is expensive. Especially if you're paying people to put your stuff in a van and take it out on the other side (which I am). So if you can avoid wasting money on packing materials, you should!
1. Pack it yourself: Yes, moving companies will pack things for you. But they charge by the hour so...
2. Free Boxes: If your friends/colleagues can't help you, our online sharing culture makes this easy. Freecycle and Craigslist are good sources. I scored oodles of boxes through a local Facebook trading post. They've been used at least 3 times before and this won't be their last rodeo.
3. Pay if forward/Reuse: I already know who I'm giving them to when I'm done!
4. Recyclable/reusable padding: I've been raiding the recycling in the basement of my office building for non-plastic packaging materials (pictured above). While I will use some plastic, it's almost entirely the recyclable pillows rather than bubble wrap. Having said that, did you know you can turn bubble wrap into beads?
5. Upcycle the cardboard: Finally, to give myself something to look forward to in the world-beyond-the-move, I have a great cardboard upcycling project planned. Watch this space :)
What am I forgetting? If you have advice to share on this topic, please leave a comment!