Living sustainably in an apartment comes with several challenges. Developers and landlords typically prohibit activities that would affect your neighbors or alter the overall setup of the structure. Most complexes don’t even have recycling bins. Moreover, there are limitations to what you can and cannot change since apartment complexes are shared spaces.

Considering the stringent guidelines, should apartment owners and tenants drop their plans to live sustainably? Of course, not! You might not have the freedom to make compost bins or install electric car charging ports, but you can still reduce your carbon footprint by:

Ditching Disposable Cotton Pads

When eliminating single-use products, people typically start by swearing off disposable straws and cups. However, you shouldn’t overlook the less prominent yet overused items like cotton pads. These pads play a crucial role in any skincare routine. The average person uses over a thousand rounds per year just to remove makeup or apply facial toner.

Fortunately, you don’t have to eliminate cotton pads. If you want to use fewer cotton rounds, opt for LastRound cotton pads. Each order comes with seven reusable rounds encased in a sustainable, ocean-bound plastic case. With the proper care, seven pads should last up to two years!

Relying Less on Toilet Paper

Overreliance on toilet paper contributes to the country’s growing waste problem. Reports show that the average individual goes through at least 20,000 sheets of toilet paper per annum, all of which end up in landfills. Moreover, wiping with toilet paper doesn’t clean your bottom correctly.

For a more sustainable and hygienic toilet experience, switch to bidets. Eco-friendly brands like SAMODRA offer easy-to-install, non-electric toilet bidets that produce an adjustable stream of cool water. Trust us—soap and running water are far better than toilet paper.

Taking the Stairs

Urban dwellers have grown accustomed to elevators that they don’t even think twice before using them anymore. Unfortunately, eleven small apartment elevators consume a significant amount of energy. Idle elevators on standby consume about 80+ kWh, but they need over 40 times more upon moving. Moving five floors up and down exhausts 1,000 kilowatts per second.

To save energy, use the stairs. Not only does stair climbing minimize your overall carbon footprint, but it also serves as an excellent form of exercise. For best results, strive to climb at least 10 flights of stairs daily.

Creating a Mini Garden

Is it possible to grow a garden inside your apartment? Of course! Mini-gardens have recently become popular among environmentally conscious urban dwellers. There are dozens of herbs and veggies that grow indoors. As long as you take care of the soil, give your plants enough sunlight, and drive away pests, you should see some progress.

Pro Tip: Get into indoor gardening with the herb garden starter kit from Fafu. As the name suggests, the kit contains everything that a beginner needs to grow a couple of herbs indoors.

Investing in a Water Filter

Plastic bottles stand as the most prominent contributor to the planet’s growing plastic waste problem. Statistics show that America already wastes over 60 million plastic bottles every day, mostly ending up in landfills or on the streets.

To help mitigate the damage, stop buying bottled water. Invest in a water filter. For example, the ​​Waterdrop BS08 is a stainless, under-the-sink water filter attachment that provides on-demand potable water. Just turn the faucet on, and you’ll get clean drinking water instantly. It’s an eco-friendly, cost-efficient alternative to buying overpriced bottled water every day.

Buying Practical, Durable Clothes

Fast fashion manipulates consumers into buying unnecessarily expensive clothes. While clothes classify as essentials, you shouldn’t purchase more than what you need. Manufacturing a cotton shirt wastes 5,200+ gallons of water—imagine the non-renewable resources required to make an entire dress or outfit. Instead, opt for practical, versatile clothes built to last years.

Relying on Natural Ventilation

Over reliance on your HVAC system will spike your energy bills. 2019 statistics show that the average household consumes 10,600+ kWh of energy per month, mostly from heating and air conditioning. 

To minimize your utility bills, maximize natural ventilation. There are dozens of ways to control indoor air quality without overworking your HVAC units. For instance, insulating the walls prevents unwanted heat transfer, opening the windows promotes indoor air circulation, and setting up thick curtains blocks harmful UV rays.

Follow an Eco-friendly, Zero-waste Apartment Lifestyle Today

Keep your eco-friendly, zero-waste apartment lifestyle simple. Maximize the available resources instead of stressing over the activities you cannot perform. Start with small, feasible changes. Even seemingly insignificant efforts like switching to reusable bags or using toilet bidets benefit the environment in the long run if performed faithfully.

If you wish to execute more prominent campaigns, however, partner with your apartment building’s owner. Explain that creating an eco-friendly establishment does not cost much. Cost-efficient projects like putting up recycling bins, proper waste disposal, and scheduling cleanup drives require teamwork, not money.