3 Organizations to Green Your Move

by Michael Kiefer

Moving day is about to arrive, and you have an apartment filled to the brim with all kinds of stuff you need to decide to either take or trash. As you run around town looking for packing boxes and trying to figure out where everything will fit in your new place, the trash bin is looking more appealing all the time. Well, hold on—it’s 2009 and we are in the age of innovation and green start-ups, so making your move a bit greener is now possible with the emergence of a unique organization called Freecycle and two companies, Junk in the Trunk and Repax.


We all know that moving is one of life’s more onerous tasks, thanks in part to having to decide what to do with all the items you have collected over the years. You can post stuff for sale on Craigslist, but that often leaves you answering dozens of emails with questions that you just don’t have time to deal with.

One alternative is the local Freecycle, which is part of nationwide grassroots organization that hooks up donators with savvy consumers to create a “second life” for all your unwanted goods. My own experience posting items on Freecycle’s DC website was fairly user-friendly and ultimately freed my garage of all kinds of clutter. However, I still had to coordinate pickups with every individual that was interested in something, making the process piecemeal and a little time-intensive.


If you’re short on time, an alternative is Junk in the Trunk, whose Frank and Linden Coyne can solve your pain with one quick pick-up.  Their approach involves taking the traditional junk hauler model and shaking it free of the notion that everything must go to a landfill. Instead, they divert as much debris as possible through the use of their Ecovery sorting process. Like many small green businesses, the Coyne’s success has been built upon a novel idea, word of mouth advertising and catchy marketing—they are “cheaper and smell better” than the competition. Diverting 75 percent of the junk you give them from landfills is no small feat, and neither is being endorsed by Green America as the first junk hauler to go green.

Now that you have managed to pare down the list of items that will be going with you to your new home, you have to pack it. Packing has typically presented the headache and waste of lots of cardboard boxes and packing peanuts. I know from my own moving experience that not a single cardboard box has ever made it to the finish line in one piece, and the pesky peanuts seem to end up floating around my house for weeks.


Well, a company called Repax brings an exciting and affordable alternative to the traditional move by providing some of the sturdiest reusable containers you can imagine. But instead of buying the containers, you rent them. You call the company and they deliver your requested number of containers, which you rent for as long as you need. The containers are about the size of a medium cardboard box you would otherwise have to buy, and you can forget about the packing peanuts. Repax supplies a unique recycled content packing material. This combination of delivery, containers, and packing material makes them something of a one-stop shop. When the move is over they pick the containers back up from your new home, thus eliminating the endless amounts of box-crushing you used to have to do.

I have not directly used either Junk in the Trunk or Repax, so it would be great to hear about any experiences in the comments. Please direct all other questions to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

See other articles related to: green real estate dc

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/3_organizations_to_green_your_move/1419

1 Comment

  1. ReUseItSupporter said at 9:17 pm on Friday October 16, 2009:

    Freecycling is a great idea; however, the Freecycle Network is no longer grassroots. The organization has been taken over by a Board of Directors of 3 people in the USA.

    The organization, at the top level, has developed many corporate imposed rules, some of which do not work for all areas. Some of the rules are very restrictive on what you can post and what you can ask for.

    For a more grassroots, Community Owned and Operated ecycling group, please check out The ReUseIt Network.

    At ReUseIt all groups are 100% community owned and operated; therefore, every group reflects and allows what works in that community.

    For a more relaxed approach, please join the ReUseIt Network at http://www.reuseitnetwork.org

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