A month without garbage: How did I live without plastic?


No trash. Some live like this for 20+ years, 1 others decide to give it a try and persuade their friends to join.

...I was the second and together with several friends we tried to live without garbage for a month. Without discarded plastic, paper, glass, metal.

how did it go Better than we expected. However, let me start with the question "No garbage?" and the more important question: "Oh my God, why?".

A. "No trash?" How is it here?'

Take a look at this illustration:

This 22+ thousand members having FB groups "Zero waste Lithuania" the cover. Having discovered this group, when it had only a few hundred members, I watched it silently for about half a year... Until I finally realized that I could try it myself.

"Litter free" means:

  1. Don't buy what you don't need. 2 The word "tau" is also important here, because - as well In the challenge of minimalism - it's personal.
  2. Use tools more than once and, if necessary, fix yourself. 3
  3. What cannot be used - sort it out and compost.

I think the most interesting part of these rules is how you describe "tools". Because when you think about it, a lot of things can be used more than once, but we don't. These are books, clothes, a bicycle that you have ridden twice, children's toys, old phones or, say, plastic bags...

Before starting this month's experiment, I walked down to my trash can and checked what I had thrown away the most in the last few weeks.

  • I saw food packaging,
  • clothing packaging,
  • packaging from Ikea furniture,
  • enough plastic bags to glue a parachute together...

Also food waste, which I could otherwise throw in the compost bin - after all, it's in the yard... 4

"No Garbage" – means not to throw away what can be reused, but what you throw away, put it in recycling containers. Also, don't buy anything that isn't recyclable.

Really good idea, isn't it?

B. "Oh my God, why?"

Trash people 5 strives to ensure that our society's resources are not wasted. Natural, unnatural, human, temporal - all of them.

The less electricity, oil, wood (and so on) wasted, the more can be used for better purposes. For example, for your comfortable life.

  1. Because every bag that ends up in the trash is part of the salary you could get. After all, the state has to pay garbage collectors later, to pay for garbage processing, transportation, storage, composting, maintenance of landfills... This is a very small part, but when such bags, packages, and clothes are thrown away in tons every day, it adds up.
  2. Because right now our food is full of waste. And littering only increases it. microplastics, 6 macroplastics, 7 various glass, 8 and metal.
  3. And the problem is that the climate is changing. And your consumption encourages it too. It's hot, it's cold, what's the difference - climate change is a fact, and the mountains of garbage in the oceans and forests of Lithuania are no secret. Are you doing your part? Don't think you should blame your neighbors and pretend to be a holy cow yourself.

...So I set myself a no-trash month challenge to test myself. How much trash do I create now? And what could I do to create less waste? However, I don't want to be the cause of the world's troubles.

And this is what happened... 🌍💚♻️

Here, the day before the start of the challenge, I was interviewed by Bertas Ulozevičius. 9 I had a lot of energy, but no idea what I was going to do here. Anyway, a perfect set for an adventure.


...As soon as I started the challenge, I ran into a bug. Such a little trouble. It's just, really, you're bluffing... I couldn't find anything to eat.

Because there is one material that is practically impossible to recycle. It doesn't get too dirty, doesn't melt, doesn't split, doesn't stick. Its "recycling" is to simply drive it into, say, concrete instead of gravel. It is not fully recyclable like glass or metal. It uses petroleum products, which, as you know, are not the cleanest. You probably already know what I'm talking about. 



Inga Menulietė's photomontage.

Is it REALLY necessary to put each bread in a separate package? Why is all the spinach in plastic? ...AND WHY is there a plastic box in every package of pasta!? Is it here to keep the noodles from getting bored and have something to look at???

These thoughts were running through my mind while I was trying on the malls 10 find something that isn't wrapped in plastic.

Because if plastic isn't recycled, and it is, then I can't buy it!

A shopping bag, of course, I had my own, a cloth one, but what to put in it? Finally, I bought fresh vegetables in plastic bags and bread in Rimi paper packaging. A complicated life.

But later I found solutions.

I discovered that there is nothing wrong with bringing the plastic bag again and packing the vegetables, 11 and move part of the shopping to Kaunas "Urmo base", where the approach to packaging is much more flexible. I heard that there are also markets, but I don't visit them much.

Since I managed to change my life to semi-vegan anyway, 12 it wasn't hard for me not to be interested in meat wrapped in plastic. I just ate fresh vegetables like a king!

Today, when I look at my garbage can, I see that it is more than half empty. Not ideal, but I'm very happy with it.

I didn't have to change much - just open my eyes to the possibilities:

  1. I replaced the paper towel in the kitchen with a cloth one, because I still only wiped my hands with it, and in Lithuania paper is more valuable than water.
  2. I started using paper more often for fuel, because I heat my house with a solid fuel stove. 13
  3. I started taking the uneaten vegetables to the compost bin in the yard, because anyway, hey, if I've got a chance, I might as well take it.
  4. I started to think, maybe buy a hard "Solid"cosmetics, which is as usual, but without water inside, so it is packed and transported in a more ecological way.
  5. I started looking at reusable bags, how, what are they creating "Green Message".
  6. I started taking my cup/thermos to cafes, when I buy takeaway coffee. Because, anyway, it's even more convenient.
  7. And I watched my choices in shopping and living. Inspiring podcast "Unpacked” and hundreds+++ Lithuanian Instagramers, all of which I would not even list here. Believe me, you will find good ideas too.

I still don't see how I can live a completely garbage-free life, but at least I'm moving towards it. Will I continue to be interested in a litter-free life? Of course yes. It was fun and I want to continue!


Today, in the middle of 2020, (two and a half years after the experiment) I am still trying to live a garbage-free life. I'll admit it - I can't boast that, alas, my trash can is empty. But, as you can see, that was not my goal.

Today I am convinced that change should not cause long-term pain. Short-term - OK, that's why we call it "challenges". But not for long. Such pain is debilitating and meaningless.

And I say this because no "Zero waste" should be a pain for you.

I'm still trying to create less junk. Because I can see that it is easy and useful. BUT I realized that I'm not going to replace toothpaste with soda, and sometimes it's just really nice to buy candy.

Similar to veganism, I'm still in the middle of the road. On the way.

...True, keep in mind that my experiences are not the same as those of everyone who lives a trash-free life. I spend my days without children, in the city. Maybe your steps will be easier or harder. Therefore, you have to try.

My friend also tried Inga Mēnulietė:

Inga seems to be in a similar mood - she also failed the challenge with 100%, but feels optimistic because 50% is also much better than zero.

...Well, how about you? Will you join to try? If you want, just join our facebook groups! There are plenty of easy ideas for cleaner living out there anyway, completely free. ♻️

I invite you - let's try together! 💚

  1. As a zero waste influencer Bea Johnson. That's it Delphi interview with her, when she visited Lithuania.

  2. At all minimalistic, organic, economical and lazy, so it's attractive to me!

  3. Did you know that you can wash dishes? Just kidding, but you'd be surprised how many things people (maybe you?) throw away even though they're only slightly broken. Let's say a sock gets torn and you can't take five minutes to sew it up! Shame. Just. Sorry if I embarrass you here too, but, well, shame. (In my eyes.) It is possible and easy to do better.

  4. Vegetables rot if not in winter, then in spring.

  5. How to name it? Supporters of the zero waste movement? Eco-friendly people? Nature-loving citizens? Mammals who care about the future of the earth..? Hmm... This last one might be too weird.

  6. These are plastic particles invisible to the naked eye - say from those toothpastes with mica.

  7. This is larger plastic waste - say straws in the noses of turtles or bags on Christmas trees in the forest.

  8. It's especially painful for me - my second cousin died at 16 when he cut his arteries while diving in a lake full of broken bottles...

  9. Such an artist, who is currently (at the beginning of 2018) talking about Zero waste lifestyle in Kaunas.

  10. First "Rimi", then "Lidl", then "Maximoj"...

  11. Anyway, it's quite convenient, because while the new ones come off...

  12. Because living vegan is worth it.

  13. Electricity is expensive, gas is not cheaper to introduce. Now I am heating with sawdust (waste) briquettes of mixed wood, which are also packed in rice bioplastic packages. Hmm!

  • I really liked it, Daniel. I'm all for it, bep packs really do choke. I agree with the idea. 🙂

  • Thank you very much. A very important topic. It is not clear whether he will hear. Ps Daniel, what do you mean that plastic is disposable. So the bottles are really recycled.

    • Bottles are not so much recycled, but used for the production of various fibers (which is also possible for concrete). This is not a complete recycling, because a lot of it is wasted, thrown into landfills, burned anyway.

      Glass, on the other hand, is completely melted and reused without residue. Even in nature, it is not so dangerous, it is equal to a stone if it is broken and tempered.

      Metal is also melted.

      Paper is not only reused for other fibers (paper, toilet paper, bags, cartons), but it is also created in dangerously toxic ways.

      So everything is recycled EXCEPT the plastic. Its processing is not complete, only very partial and at the same time quite poisonous 🙁

      It is true that bioplastic made from vegetable matter is equivalent to paper. It is not poisonous when it decomposes or is burned. It's good that now there are more and more bioplastics 🙂

  • I had to watch one documentary on this topic - "No impact man". A man and his family lived for one year completely without garbage. And not only without garbage, but without negative impact on the environment. Composted, didn't use electricity while living in a big city, bought products without packaging, etc. 🙂

    I recommend it.
    Mr. BM

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