If there were three staples common to every New Yorker en route to work, they would be Apple Airpods, a disposable cup of coffee, and a grim expression. Let’s be honest, the hustle and bustle of city living is hard. So how can we make our day-to-day habits more sustainable? The answer is one step at a time and one item at a time. Sustainability can seem overwhelming, like a life overhaul, but in reality it’s quite simple.

Read on to learn about cost-effective solutions that are sure to bring a smile to your face and make your life easier while you better the planet. Let us guide your first steps toward making some quick changes with this easy sustainable city living guide. And remember, it’s just one step at a time. Try it out!

Sustainable Wireless Earphones 

Did you know there is a company creating sustainable headphones? Ditch your desire to purchase the newest plastic pods and instead check out these. Made from 100% sustainable materials, they have the same technology as Airpods and cost exactly the same.

Ditch Coffee Chains for Local Shops

All of us city dwellers are guilty of spending way too much money on large, and convenient coffee chains. However, there are many more-sustainable small businesses popping up that use compostable cups and other options. They stay true to being quick and efficient, and you can put your money and investment for the planet into a cup of organic brew locally. Want to be an even better human? Bring your own mug. Many shops even reward you for doing so by discounting your drink and sometimes even adding a bit more coffee to the regular small cups they use. Find local coffee shops near you by using this site, and buy your reusable mug here!

Compost in Your Apartment

A bit gross, but very necessary, composting. When you discard food in the trash, it can’t properly decompose and, in turn, lets off harmful methane gas. If you compost, it can create nutritious soil and become a circular process. While seemingly impossible in a tiny apartment, it’s actually easy to do! Collect some scraps, freeze them, and then check your local compost drop-off locations. Local to New York City? Union Square Market has an area where you can bring your food scraps to be sent to a large facility to decompose. Watch our video on how to compost in a tiny apartment here. 

Thrifting in the City 

Cities usually have the most outstanding places to shop, including unique secondhand and vintage places. Some of our favorites in NYC are L Train Vintage, Le Point Vintage, Beacon’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and Monk Vintage, but the options are endless. By reusing instead of buying new, you are giving a second life to a garment for half the cost. On Pildora, we will be selling vintage garments, including many redesigned secondhand pieces. Check out Minus Us, who upcycles secondhand pieces from around NYC! We interviewed Johann, co-founder of Minus Us, and were inspired by his story. You can view it here

Laundry Less Often 

Let’s face it, doing laundry in the city is exhausting when you don’t have an in-unit washing machine. Luckily, jeans were created to be worn multiple times between washing. Since denim is created out of cotton, it breathes and resists smells much longer than a pair of polyester counterparts. Did you know you can actually put your jeans in the freezer to clean them of bacteria and smells? 

Shared Rides and Public Transit 

In New York, it is typically quicker to take public transit over any car. However, if Uber is your preferred choice, select a shared ride when public transportation isn’t an option. 

Staying eco-friendly can sometimes be tricky at first! Add in the chaos of a long day at work and squishing yourself into the sardine subway can, and it may be the last thought you have. The truth is, once you add these small habits to your routine, they will soon seem like second nature. Just remember, don’t get overwhelmed—changes comes gradually. Easily implement one new thing every week or month and before you know it, you’ll be living sustainably. And let us help you get “Pildoraized”!

Pildoraized: The opposite of polarized. The process of extending good energy inspired by Pildora into the world, providing a positive feel-good change and welcome into our loving community.