What I’ve Learned About Minimal Waste (After 5 Months)

You all probably remember my post from a few months ago on minimal waste. One of my goals for 2020 is to minimize my waste and follow a sorta-zero-waste-lifestyle. I knew that I (Hadassah) couldn’t jump on board the 100% zero waste train right now (though it’s so cool!), but I thought how awesome it’d be if I could take care of God’s creation more this year by doing more eco-friendly things and really, to just have fun with it. 🙂

Now obviously, I don’t have my own home (though this girl’s already dreaming up a storm for her future house 😂), but I can watch the things that I throw away and just minimize down on my waste and resources.

So… how’s my journey going? We’re five months into 2020, and the world’s kinda crazy right now… yet I feel inspired. Maybe it’s because I’ve had more time lately to read books on zero waste and frugality or maybe it’s because I’ve done more sewing projects (#quarantinepros). I am not a sewing machine (haha, pun intended), but I can get little projects done and have enjoyed doing some zero waste ones.

I sewed an old, unwearable, yet gorgeous lacy white skirt into a pillow (find that tutorial here). I just cut off the stained part and busted zipper, and turned it into a pillow! Pretty easy, and I still have scraps in our scrap box for later projects. I also sewed a race car pillow for my little brother’s birthday recently, and stuffed it with old fabric scraps instead of cotton. Actually comfier than you’d think. 😉

I have been mending a lot. Actually, I have been mending since about December, but as my mom has her hands full with my younger siblings, I’ve tackled a bunch of her to-mend pile and have enjoyed tucking things back into my sibling’s drawers with buttons returned to shirts or seams stitched back up. I even mended my nylon leggings. Yes! They’re mendable!

So other than sewing/refashioning? I recently mentioned that I bought Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline. I’ve read it at least three times now, lol. It’s such an eye-opener for the fast fashion of this world. She touches down on how to mend clothing as well as other things like sustainability and how to care for garments. Such a good read and she is doing so many amazing things for the planet!


If you know me, you know that I adore thrifting & secondhand wardrobes (I have loved the thrill of thrifting since I was probably nine or ten), and I made a decision that I’d buy everything secondhand this year. Honestly, I don’t think I have bought any new wardrobe pieces since about April 2019 (on Amazon), but I loved that Elsie Larson of ABM did this challenge last year and felt inspired to do it myself.

So far I’ve only used ThredUp and Poshmark for adding things in my wardrobe. I love that I can re-sell on Poshmark (I even got my Mikarose Easter dress on there this year; yes, I wore it around the house due to quarantine- but still felt pretty 😉 ), and ThredUp is one of my absolute favorite companies. ❤

I’ve enjoyed doing little stuff too. I haven’t used a whole paper towel since who-knows-when (substituting with handmade rags in the kitchen), I use a reusable water bottle whenever I go places, and I am planning to use a handkerchief to dry my hands next time I’m in a public restroom, though I don’t know when that will be. Need to research that… would a paper towel or using a hand dryer make more of a global impact? *thinks to herself*

 But I’ve realized, even the little things, like refusing a straw at Cracker Barrel can help our earth!


I wrote a bunch of goals down in my bullet journal on January 1st, which included starting a compost pile (we did that one! So far it’s going well and our chickens adore us- it’s their new favorite place to dig for earthworms) and buying/using a bamboo toothbrush. I know a lot of people are probably thinking, “WHAT?” But it’s not that crazy. xD Bamboo toothbrushes are compostable and pretty eco-friendly. Though, yeah, they’re probably not for everyone. Still need to do more research on that one…

I have loved that Pinterest picked up on what I’ve been interested in, and really neat eco-friendly things like wooden Legos (whaat? #goingonthelistformyfuturehome), as well as so many cool zero waste Etsy shops have been showing up on my home page on Pinterest.

So yes! I’m not a full-pledged environmentalist or zero-waster. I still have a trash can and I still produce trash that will go into a landfill. And I wrote this post not to brag on myself, but to encourage everyone! We can do so many simple eco-friendly things on a daily basis. Here’s some easy ways to change habits:

  • use the reusable water bottle! Avoid plastic. If you grab a plastic one, recycle after use.
  • refuse plastic bags at the grocery store. Use cloth! (And here’s a fun t-shirt tutorial!)
  • use a rag instead of paper towels.
  • use a handkerchief instead of a pack of Kleenex. I have a few old-fashioned ‘church hankies’ that I stash in my purse. Once I use it, I just fold it up, put it back in my bag, and wash it when I get home.
  • use cloth napkins and dishes/silverware at home. Avoid plastic, paper, Styrofoam, you name it. The earth will love you for it! 😉

What are some ways you are eco-friendly?

(I’d love to hear any tips too! This girl’s still got a lot to learn!)


10 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Minimal Waste (After 5 Months)

  1. horsehappy14 says:

    I enjoy using a reuseable water bottle! My family also has a compost pit. We also recycle everything that we can, sadly, though, our recycle center doesn’t take some stuff. 😦


    • Hadassah S. says:

      Reusable water bottles are the best! I love my Contigo. 🙂

      Oh yes, that’s a bummer. 😦 It’s tough trying to figure out exactly what CAN be recycled sometimes!


  2. Heaven says:

    This is so awesome, Hadassah! It is great that you are still sticking with this…even if it is hard at times. 😂 My family and I have switched to using cloth towels to dry our hands instead of paper towel and using sewed napkins for dinner instead of paper napkins. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it saves money!


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