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Born-again minimalist shares how buying a single notepad changed their outlook on life: 'This is something people lose sight of'

"Notepads, nail polish, and chapstick: Don't think I've ever finished one, but I strive to."

Zero waste notepad

Photo Credit: u/serenityfive / Reddit

Sustainable living isn't all about grand gestures that save the entire world in one fell swoop. As one Reddit thread shows us, it's the small things that add up over time.

"Bought a notepad a year ago on a whim even though I already had plenty…" writes the Redditor who started the thread in the popular r/ZeroWaste forum. "Not long after, I learned about zero-waste living, and am now proud to say that this is the first time I have used a full notepad to the end! Next mission is to use up all the others I have."

The post inspired other Redditors to share their small triumphs, as well as their aspirations to create even less waste in the future.

"I get so much satisfaction from tossing a completely empty pen right now. Just did it this morning! The hoard is slowly disappearing!" writes one commenter.

"Notepads, nail polish, and chapstick: Don't think I've ever finished one, but I strive to." writes another.

"Thank you for this post!" another commenter chimes in. "This is something that often people lose sight of: using up what you already have is the most effective way to reduce waste. You don't need to go run out and buy an eco-friendly dish detergent if you still have half a bottle somewhere."

As these posts (and all the others on the thread) show us, leaning into a less wasteful lifestyle doesn't have to entail making sacrifices and giving things up for the greater good. It can save you money and also produce an immense sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment, just from the smallest actions.

In fact, by simply using up everything you buy, you really aren't sacrificing anything at all — you're doing the opposite. By buying new notepads, pens, or chapsticks when you already have fully usable ones at home, that's sacrificing money and resources that could have been saved.

Still, using the whole notebook is definitely easier said than done — but, luckily, as this Reddit thread shows us, doing so is worth it. And if you need a little extra encouragement, the members of r/ZeroWaste are always there.

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