Living Low Waste with Roommates

Living in a city with roommates can be both exciting and challenging. As the self-proclaimed eco-warrior of our household, I embarked on a mission to minimize our waste and create a more sustainable living environment. Join me as I take you through our journey of adopting eco-friendly practices, with input from my trusty roommates on the hits and misses along the way.

Composting Crusade

Our zero-waste journey kicked off with composting – not your typical first step, but one that aligned with my workplace's initiatives. Armed with compostable bags from Trader Joe's, we transformed our refrigerator into a compost hub, reducing our trash output and minimizing odorous scraps. While it received mixed reviews from my roommates due to space constraints, they appreciated the positive impact on our waste reduction efforts.

Herb Garden Hustle

Next on the agenda was growing our own herb garden, a collaborative effort that initially thrived with scheduled watering sessions. Despite some neglect, our resilient rosemary, oregano, and mint continued to flourish, enhancing our home-cooked meals and saving us money on store-bought herbs. While maintenance proved to be a bit of a hassle, the benefits far outweighed the challenges, earning it a favorable rating from the household.

Solar Light Saga

In a bid to illuminate our outdoor space sustainably, I invested in solar lights for both everyday decor and festive occasions. While my roommates had little say in this decision due to our lack of an outdoor outlet, they appreciated the energy efficiency and automatic illumination provided by the lights. However, reliability issues on cloudy days left room for improvement, resulting in mixed feelings about their usefulness.

Bar Soap Battle

Transitioning from liquid soap to bar soap proved to be a contentious topic among my roommates, with varying opinions on its efficacy and hygiene. While some embraced the switch, others voiced concerns about dryness and messiness. Despite initial resistance, integrating Parrotfish's cleansing bars into our daily routine garnered positive feedback, demonstrating the importance of gradual transitions and open communication.

Detergent Dilemma

Switching to dishwasher and laundry pods seemed like a straightforward move, but strong opinions on soap preferences complicated the transition. While one roommate's sensitive skin necessitated a cautious approach, the convenience of subscription-based pods made the switch hassle-free for others. Ultimately, neutrality prevailed, with no significant impact on cleanliness or texture noted.

Silicon Bag Switch

Our latest endeavor involves ditching plastic zip lock bags in favor of durable silicone alternatives. With their impressive durability and design, the silicone bags quickly won over our household, keeping food fresh and spills at bay. Embraced by all, this eco-friendly swap proved to be a resounding success, highlighting the importance of practicality and sustainability in our daily lives.


Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle in a shared household is no small feat, but with patience, perseverance, and the support of understanding roommates, it's entirely achievable. By introducing changes gradually and seeking group consensus, we've managed to navigate the ups and downs of eco-friendly living while minimizing eye-rolls and maximizing sustainability. Here's to embracing change and making a positive impact, one small step at a time.

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