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How to Recycle Moving Boxes

Moving into a new home is not without its frustrations; the countless aches and pains, sweating, not to mention the cleanup. Let's not forget the newspapers, packing peanuts and, yes, the pile of boxes. It is enough to make the best of eco-warriors go insane! But when it all comes down to it, at least from an environmental aspect, most of these items pale in comparison to one in particular - the moving box. It's the one item that can either cost you nothing or cost you plenty. It's also one that can leave you scratching your head at the end of the move, wondering how you obtained so many in the first place.

It's not uncommon for many people to spend a considerable amount of their moving budget on boxes, alone - with the moving trucks and crew being the next highest expense. Many will turn around and spend a few bucks here and there on packing peanuts to keep their precious china and other breakables safe, but that's it. As for boxes, though, that is where the money flies out of the wallet. In today's market, buying a starter set of boxes from a big moving company, including tape, for a four bedroom home will cost a family over $350.

But there are some suggestions you should consider before heading out to buy boxes and here they are:

  1. Moving companies mat offer drop locations, which allow customers to drop reusable moving boxes off or pick up any previously used donated boxes. This is a great way for customers to help each other by promoting the reuse of a product, something of which is preferable to the cost of recycling. By continuously reusing a box, a new one does not enter the cycle.
  2. Try online communities dedicating to upcycling if you are unable to obtain free boxes through a moving company. Often times, you will see people trying to get rid of boxes online along with a couple of hidden treasures. If you need a box, try posting an ad. The same goes with getting rid of them. It's that easy.
  3. Big box, grocery, liquor stores, and restaurants may be able to provide a small number of boxes if asked.

Ideas for Parents

There are a couple ways to upcycle or recycle your boxes after the move is over:

  1. Turn your boxes into a kid's castle. If you have children, use the boxes for something fun. You'll be amazed at how much amusement kids can get out of a plain box - no batteries required.
  2. Boxes that are damaged mildly (can't make it through another move) will be perfect for children who have vivid imaginations. Get the children outside, let them have the boxes and see what happens!
  3. Just recycle them. You've been through it all - reusing, passing them to friends and family and even handing them off to the kids. If you still have them after all that, the last stop is the recycling bin. Knowing that you have given the boxes a full life should put your mind at ease.

Here are some extra facts that you might not know about boxes and recycling:

  • The planet saves a little over 9 cubic yards in landfill area by recycling over one ton of cardboard each year
  • Corrugated boxes is the largest source of waste collected
  • Every year, Americans throw enough paper and wood to heat over five million homes for two centuries

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