We all like to fancy ourselves eco-friendly minimalists—that is, until moving day comes along and we realize just how much useless stuff we have. None of us wants to admit this, but many of us are not as minimalistic as we think, and this becomes the most evident when the time comes to move from one dwelling to another. It’s easy to fall into the trap of simply throwing out unused items rather than donating them or purchasing a plethora of wasteful moving items like cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, permanent markers, and so on. Add on the fact that many of us rent moving vehicles or make multiple trips back and forth between our old and new homes. When you really think about it, it’s not just the monetary costs of moving that add up, the environmental impact also takes a huge toll on the planet.
If you’re planning on moving to Toronto this year, it’s important to note that there are a lot of green moving options that can help you reduce waste and your overall carbon footprint. Here are some great green moving tips to follow:
Reduce Personal Waste
Planning an eco-friendly move should start with reducing personal waste as much as possible in an effort to diminish your carbon footprint. We all have a plethora of unused items just lying around the house—a lot of it may be skillfully stored or hidden away, but there’s no denying it exists. With a little extra forethought and creativity, these items can easily be repurposed or upcycled to reduce waste. Do you have any old and ratty t-shirts or other articles of clothing that you haven’t worn in a long time and are inexplicably taking up space in your closet?
If they’re in good condition, then consider donating or giving them away. Otherwise, tattered up old clothing can be used as rags or to wrap up valuables in lieu of bubble wrap, which is terrible for the environment. Finding small ways to reduce your personal waste before relocating to Toronto isn’t just good for the environment, it can also reduce some of the stress of moving and it means there’s less stuff to transport.
Rent Reusable Moving Containers
In an effort to continuously promote green moving initiatives, many moving companies now offer customers the option of renting reusable containers that you can store your stuff in during transportation. Available in a variety of sizes based on your needs, these containers are a great alternative to cardboard boxes that’ll eventually end up in a landfill somewhere.
Take Discarded Cardboard Boxes from Local Shops
If you absolutely need to use cardboard boxes to transport your items, another feasible alternative is collecting discarded ones from local stores. Some grocery stores keep cardboard boxes for customers to use to reduce plastic bag usage. These cardboard boxes are free and anyone can take them. Another benefit is that they’re usually reinforced to withstand the shipping process, so you know they’ll stay intact and protect your stuff. Plus, by using them for your move, you’re essentially prolonging their life cycle by at least a few weeks before they inevitably end up in a landfill.
Look into Local Recycling and Upcycling Services
In addition to the numerous waste collection services throughout the province of Ontario, the City of Toronto offers a comprehensive waste drop-off service with seven convenient Transfer Stations located throughout the city. Accepted items include:
- Household hazardous waste
- Renovation waste
- Yard waste
- Garbage and recycling,
- Various types of metals
For more information like drop-off fees, locations, hours of operation, and lists of accepted items in each category, visit the City of Toronto website.
Avoid Single-Use Plastics
One aspect of the moving process that many of us don’t think about or plan for in advance is the takeout factor. Eating out or ordering a ton of takeout is commonplace while moving. We’ve all ordered pizza or Chinese food and eaten it on makeshift unpacked cardboard boxes at one point or another in our lives without stopping to consider the impact it has on the environment.
Many cities are slowly implementing single-use plastic and Styrofoam bans in an effort to prevent businesses from using them. Those plastic utensils and containers you use while eating takeout can have a substantial environmental impact, take thousands of years to decompose (if at all) and many of them end up in our oceans and water systems where they disturb precious marine life. The simple solution to this problem is to set aside a set of silverware and a few plates that you can use and reuse during your move. There are also compostable utensils and dinnerware sets that you can purchase for occasions such as this.
Stay Green While Moving Green
Another point to consider is where you’re going to stay during your move. Some moves are seamless and can be executed over the course of a weekend. But what if you’ve purchased a pre-construction dwelling and need to move out of your current place before it’s finished? While you could stay with a friend or family member, you probably don’t want to burden them and want to have your own space.
Hotels and paid lodging services can get expensive. Instead, why not stay in a LEEDS-certified fully furnished apartment that offers desirable amenities at an affordable rate?
Our sister company, MAC Furnished Residences Inc., offers stunning temporary short- and long-term fully furnished apartment rentals in Toronto. Our King-Spadina condos and MAC Garden Residences are both LEEDS certified, which allows for more environmentally sustainable living. We also offer stellar relocation services through MAC Relocation Solutions and our licensed realtors at MAC Real Estate Services Inc can help you buy or sell a home or condo. Contact us today to learn more!