Tricks and tips for practicing responsible consumption

Last updated November 23, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

Learn about simple eco-friendly actions you can take to practice responsible consumption. See what Montréal is doing to reduce waste.

What is responsible consumption?

Responsible consumption is a choice. Its objective is to reduce our impact on the environment and on society as a whole. Is this purchase truly necessary? Are there alternatives? Use these two basic questions to guide your purchasing decisions.

The advantages of responsible consumption:

  • Save money
  • Reduce waste
  • Reduce your environmental footprint and help fight climate change
  • Economies of space 
  • Encourage the local economy and local initiatives

Borrow, rent or purchase?

There are many resources available to help you make informed choices. Before purchasing a new product, first think about: 

  • Exchanging
  • Borrowing
  • Renting
  • Sharing
  • Encouraging local purchases, second-hand stores, eco-responsible businesses and zero waste

Also consider toolboxes and directories, such as:

  • The Z’Astuces reduction toolbox (in French) features ideas meant to make it easier to adopt new lifestyle habits. 
  • The responsible consumption directory issued in conjunction with the Semaine québécoise de réduction des déchets (SQRD) offers tips for making more informed consumer choices (in French). You’ll discover local businesses and initiatives that will help you embrace a more eco-responsible lifestyle.

Resources to discover close to home

  • For renovation, gardening and craft enthusiasts: Need a tool that you’ll only use a few times a year? Before you purchase it, first think about borrowing or renting it, or using a tool rental service. 
  • Occasional drivers: Need a car once in a while, but don’t like searching for parking and want to avoid maintenance and insurance fees? Use a car-sharing service with reserved parking spaces.  
  • Fashion buffs: Want to freshen up your wardrobe at an affordable cost? Support your local second-hand clothing store. As well as save money, you’ll support neighbourhood businesses by buying local. You can also lend renewed life to your clothes by giving them to donation centres.
  • You can take gently used items to ecocentres.

Objective of zero-waste in Montréal by 2030

Consuming differently also means reducing waste. The municipal administration has set an objective of making Montréal a zero-waste city by 2030 with its Plan directeur de gestion des matières résiduelles de l’agglomération de Montréal (PDGMR) 2020-2025 (in French).

Several actions have been put forward to better manage residual materials in Montréal: 

  • Food waste collection has been implemented in buildings with nine or more dwellings (the collection in buildings with eight or fewer dwellings has ended).
  • Two organic materials treatment centres have been built (Montréal-Est and Saint-Laurent.; 
  • Certain single-use plastics have been banned following public consultations and impact studies.

By adopting small collective actions every day, we can succeed in becoming a zero-waste city and thus usher in an inclusive and fair ecological transition.

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