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Moving green

moving-house

Credit: iStockphoto

Planet Ark

Planet Ark staff farewelling their Blue Mountains office.

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By Dianne Mann, Planet Ark.

Anyone who has moved house or office will know how much organisation there is in getting your furnishings to fit your new space and making sure the things you leave behind don’t go to waste.

As the coordinator of an office move, I certainly discovered some great ways to lessen our impact on the environment by reusing, freecycling and donating some of the things we could no longer use.

Planet Ark recently consolidated our two offices into one. The city team moved from a small office on Level 2 of our Circular Quay building and created a new home for staff from our Blue Mountains office to join us. It took a bit of planning, but being a green organisation, we wanted to ensure we took the time for the 3Rs… reduce, reuse, and recycle!

First of all, I organised an ongoing Friday File Fling in both offices over the weeks preceding the move. Everyone reviewed their old files and outdated campaign material and either reused it or flung it into the recycling bin. After all the desks were cleared, we headed for the cupboards, taking the opportunity to do more de-cluttering and recycling.

Next came the big job – furniture! As many of the new offices had built-in desks and fixtures, some of our existing desks were not going to make the journey north from level 2 to level 3. Wanting to keep it green, I went online to find ways for people to reuse our great quality but unwanted furniture.

I ended up using a range of strategies for moving unnecessary items out of our office and back into useful service. I searched and found furniture recyclers on Planet Ark’s Business Recycling site. I also took photos and loaded them up to the freecycle.org website which I use at home to great effect a lot, however it was less successful for this purpose as I don’t think many regular users are looking for office furniture on the site.

Reverse Garbage, and our social media pages (including Planet Ark’s ‘I Heart Recycling’ Facebook page), were great for getting rid of those little fiddly, unusual items you never quite know what to do with. It’s also pretty cool to think that some old bit of campaign material will become a kid’s craft project.

In the end we were stuck with half a dozen perfectly good desks that I was having trouble finding a home for. They were snapped up by our friends at The Royal Flying Doctor Service, which is also based in our building. One of their staff spied my notice in the lift, and we all loved to see the desks go to such a good cause!

Moving is always a big process, but it didn’t take much effort to give it a green slant. Everyone is really enjoying our new home, made all the better by knowing practically nothing ended up in landfill throughout our move.

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Diane works on Planet Ark’s Endorsed Products program and partnerships and wrote this blog as part of the current G Challenge to 'recycle everything'.