Piles of boxes, mountains of garbage, harmful household products—moving has its fair share of environmental impacts. In the Montréal area, an estimated 60,000 tonnes of waste are generated by moving. Fortunately, there are ways to relocate while limiting your impact on the planet. If you’re one of those people who’ll be having a housewarming party in the next few weeks, check out our tips for a greener move.
Before the move
Sorting your belongings makes sense
What you don’t want to bring to your new home can be divided into five categories:
Sell: Hold a garage sale or sell your items on a resale site like Marketplace or LesPAC.com.
Give away: Give these items to loved ones or take them to a thrift store, such as Renaissance, Value Village, St. Vincent de Paul Society stores, and the Salvation Army.
Recycle: To make sorting materials easier, go to Recyc-Québec’sÇa va où?site. Want to get rid of small, outdated electronic devices like a phone or tablet? Take them to a Videotron store, where they’ll have a second life as part of theWe Recycle program. For other electronic products, visitLes Serpuariensto find a drop-off location near you.
Drop off at an eco-centre: Bring all hazardous household waste, such as paint, pesticides, aerosols, oils, and solvents, to your local eco-centre.
Throw out: Your last resort.
Packing: Use whatever you already have
Use any container you already have on hand to pack your belongings, including reusable grocery bags, baskets, backpacks, and suitcases. Fill up whatever can be filled up! And there’s no need to buy cardboard boxes. Go to stores (SAQ stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, big box stores) to get some, ask your friends and family to collect some for you, or rent reusable plastic bins.
Empty the fridge
Use up all perishable foods to empty the fridge and freezer. This will reduce the risk of food loss and make your move easier.
Helix: Be a hero and install it yourself
If you have Helix TV and Internet services, you could install your Helix Fi gateway and Helix TV terminal yourself in your new home. That way, you avoid having a technician come to your home! You still have to contact us up to 90 days before your move to complete your change of address and verify if you’re eligible for self-installation. For more tips, visit ourMoving Support page.
During the move
The moving truck you use must be big enough to carry everything in one trip, but not too big, to limit gas consumption. Have you ever thought about moving by bike? Some companies offer it in the city for short distances.
Say adios to single-use plastic
Ask people to bring a reusable water bottle. For lunch, get out the camping dishes or plan a meal that can be eaten with your hands, such as sandwiches or wraps. Also consider providing package-free snacks, such as seasonal fruit.
After the move
Cleaning without compromise
For your initial cleaning, there are plenty of health-friendly products that are also uncompromising on dirt. There are many recipes for homemade products online that use vinegar, lemon juice, soda crystals, and essential oils, for example. Gather these ingredients in a box so you have them on hand when you arrive.
Thou shalt follow the collection rules
Get used to the collection schedule in your new neighbourhood. Avoid leaving a pile of garbage on the side of the road after you move, as some of it may blow away. Instead, spread your deposits out over a few collection days (although if you’ve sorted your belongings properly, you shouldn’t have much). If some garbage needs to be taken to your local eco-centre, take the opportunity to go learn more about it.
New home, new habits
As long as you’re changing your decor, why not adopt new eco-friendly habits, such as zero waste or upcycling? Upcycling consists of giving new life to things that would normally end up in the garbage—restoring an old piece of furniture, for example. And retro is in! You can also locate nearby second-hand stores, which will come in handy if you need a few items to settle in comfortably.
Congratulations on your efforts!
No matter how well intentioned you are, a move is always full of unexpected events. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Every step you’ve taken along the way has given the planet a little extra help. We wish you all the best with your move, and feel free to share other eco-friendly tips in the comments!