Moving overseas is an amazing experience, but it can be difficult to do in a sustainable way. Dutch removal company AGS KHZ shares six low-cost high-impact tips for reducing the carbon footprint of your next international move.

Choose sea freight over air freight whenever possibleYou might not realise it, but sea freight is actually one of the most sustainable ways to move your belongings overseas. That’s because container ships can transport enormous volumes, so they produce fewer emissions per unit of cargo than other modes of transport, like road freight or air freight (which is the other main option for shipping internationally).

Share your shipping container with othersTo reduce your carbon footprint even further, you can choose to share your shipping container with other people who are moving to the same country. In the shipping industry, this way of shipping goods is known as groupage, consolidated moving, or even LCL (which stands for Less than Container Load). Sharing a container also saves you money, since the container cost is split between more customers.

Reduce how much you shipLogically, the less you ship, the greener your move will be, so be selective about what will be joining you on your international adventure. Ask yourself, can I replace this item easily and inexpensively in my new home? If the answer is yes, then set it aside. Knowing how much you can afford to ship also makes it easier to decide what you can live without.

Use pre-loved packagingIt’s time to start packing. You will need boxes, of course, but they don’t need to be new. Getting second-hand boxes from the supermarket, or from someone who has recently moved themselves, is another great way to limit your move’s environmental impact. If pre-loved packaging is not an option, use boxes made from recycled materials. Another packaging tip is to use your T-shirts to wrap fragile items. They’re coming with you anyway, so why not put them to good use? The same goes for blankets and other bedding.

Donate or recycle what you’re leaving behindThey may not have made it into the container, but there’s still life in your leftover household goods. Sell them at a garage sale to fatten your moving budget or, better yet, gift them to charity or to friends and family who will appreciate having something to remember you by. What you can’t find a home for, you can always recycle. The goal is to reduce the waste generated by your move as much as possible.

Choose a green moving companyThe final step in making sure your move is as sustainable as possible is to choose a green moving company. Look for companies that are certified by an organisation like FIDI (the International Federation of International Furniture Removers), which has a set of environmental standards that member companies must adhere to. These standards include things like using energy-efficient vehicles, recycling packing materials, and offsetting carbon emissions.

AGS KHZ has been FIDI certified since 1998. As part of the AGS Group, the company offsets its carbon emissions by contributing to reforestation projects around the world. Through its partnership with the NGO Planète Urgence, the AGS Group has funded more than 24 000 trees in the past year and more than 260 000 trees since sponsoring its first tree in 2009. By choosing AGS KHZ for your international move, you can be assured that you are directly supporting their efforts to combat climate change.

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