According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. That’s a lot of moving. Just think of the environmental impact we could make if all moves were done in a green-conscious way. If you are planning a move in the near future, here are some ways to cut back on methods that are harmful to the environment.

Here a few tips you can follow for an eco-friendly move:

• Try contacting companies that rent sturdy boxes made of totally recycled materials. The minimal fee, usually a dollar a week per box, is usually less expensive than buying cardboard boxes made from virgin materials. The company often drops them off, then picks them up at the other end of the move.
• Ask local grocery stores or liquor stores if they have any unused boxes they could donate.
• Consider investing in rubber tubs that can be reused once you are settled into your new home.
• Store things in containers you already have, like suitcases and plastic bins, before you resort to packing things in boxes.
• Consider using Tyga boxes, which are made of plastic that can be reused up to 500 times.
• If you do invest in cardboard boxes, try donating them to someone else after your move (the Craigslist free section is an easy way to do this!).
• Packing supplies such as foam peanuts and petroleum-based plastic bubble wrap can create a lot of extra trash. Try using old blankets and towels as padding in your boxes, or ask friends and neighbors if they have any unused packing materials lying around. Once you are finished moving, try and donate your used packing supplies.
• Newspaper, which is recyclable, is perfect for cushioning breakables and, if you purchase unprinted newspaper, you don’t have to worry about the ink transferring to your hands or your possessions.
• Look for moving companies that use biodiesel rigs, as opposed to trucks that use tons of gas.
• Make as few trips as possible to use the least amount of fuel.
• Don’t throw away unnecessary items that you don’t want to take with you to the new house. Host a garage sale for extra income or donate the items to charity.
• Try to plan your food purchases in the weeks ahead of your move so that you don’t end up with a lot of perishables. If you do have some extra items in the refrigerator, consider giving them to a neighbor or a friend. If you have lots of canned goods and other non-perishables, donate the items to a local food shelter.