Is it really necessary?

minimalism laziness zerowaste

First published: Below is an unedited version of the conversation.

You have recently published a book, "The Sloth Manifesto", about, in your words, the benefits of Sloth and Simplicity for our health, our positive attitude, our capacity for joy. Tell us more about your philosophy of simplicity. How did your journey towards minimalism begin? How has your life changed since you started looking at it in a simpler way?

Some people think that only total sloths are lazy. Well, artists of all kinds. Those who don't plan their time, live under a pile of rubbish behind the nearest heat point...

But I choose to be lazy out of mathematical calculation. Lazy people are more productive, work more meaningfully and live happier lives. Just ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you the same thing - deliberate laziness is the foundation of a rewarding life.

The only way to live without laziness is to work, to scroll through Facebook (which is not a holiday!), to work, to scroll through Facebook (or your life), to work, to work, to scroll through the inner lining of the coffin with your thumb. And that's not laziness or productivity - it's nonsense.

Deliberately lazy:

  1. Choose what really matters. They are not idiots to do every job life has to offer, to try to cram 24 hours of work into a 12-hour day (that's minus sleep, food, exercise, other necessities). They work only what makes sense to them.
  2. This means their work is of a higher quality. Not necessarily ideal, because ideality is born of patience (if that is possible at all), but certainly of a higher quality - when you concentrate, miracles are born.
  3. That makes them happier. When there are no more pointless activities and you do things more efficiently, all you can do is enjoy the achievements, the sunshine, the bloody life!

Our lives are meant to be made the most of. And the best way to make the most of it is to GET STARTED. Laziness helps us do that.

Efficient people worship laziness. They listen to laziness. If you are lazy... What does it mean?

  1. Perhaps there is a smarter way to do it? If you can buy food in the supermarket, why grow it yourself? Why hunt when you can grow it? Why hunt an animal with your hands when you can put a rock on the end of a stake?
  2. Maybe you need to do something else that will pay off more? Yes, it can be difficult to build a civilisation with supermarkets or to start investing money in shares... But we can see that it pays much more to make a city's plumbing system once than to carry water from wells for all the city's residents. Similarly, in your personal life, it pays to start exercising (even a little!), to read 1 book a month (slowly!), to spend time with your children before they grow up and realise what an absent-minded parent you were...
  3. Maybe I just don't want it? And why do something you don't like? Do you think it will be better for someone else? For every speciality, there is a person who would do it, and do it willingly, on their own time. One of my neighbours drives intercity buses. Bored? No! It's his favourite job! And I, for one, like to pore over information, read research, think about how to say the words I say better. Don't do what you don't like - do what you like. Even if it's not a "prestigious" specialty, what difference does it make! The point is, are you happy?

So when you put all this together... Doesn't it make sense?

"In The Lazy Person's Manifesto, I provide practical tools and examples of how to be more lazy. The benefits of laziness are also shown by research - lazy does not mean 'lazy'. It's a person who Lives with a capital G. He reads, he's interested, he socialises, he pursues his dreams, he even plays sport! And not just any way, but the way he personally enjoys. For him personally.

You set yourself new challenges: there was a month without the internet, 365 days of writing, the book reading challenge and many others. How did you decide to take on the zero waste challenge? Was it a natural step in your philosophy of simplicity?

I met a girl. I think a lot of stories start that way, huh. It didn't work out for us, but when I saw that she was trying to live without rubbish, I thought, I can do that too!

A few months later, that's what I started doing. As an experiment. I just invited a few friends to a joint Facebook chat and we shared ideas on how to get rid of the rubbish. Now I've told it all in detail in my article on the blog. Here is the link:

What are the main principles you applied and how did you manage to implement the anti-consumerism policy in the "lazy man's" home?

Oh, that's the first question: Is it really necessary?

Hang in there, put your purchase away and ask yourself about it at least a few minutes, hours or days later (maybe a month, depending on the value). Very often we are tempted by advertisements to buy something we don't need at all... That's rubbish!

If you don't buy rubbish, most of the rubbish is gone!

And then you just look for plastic-free when you buy. Paper and glass are not yet scary to buy - paper is recycled (as I heat my house with wood briquettes, I make it), glass goes in the bin. The important thing is that there is no plastic. Nowadays, more and more of these goods are available, which makes me very happy!!!

In her book "Waste-Free Homes", author Bea Johnson identifies time-saving as one of the biggest benefits of this way of living. Have you noticed this too? Are zero waste and laziness compatible? Or does this lifestyle require a lot of thought, investment of time and energy?

I haven't noticed any time savings from Zero Waste. It sounds very strange and it will be interesting to hear from Bea or read in her book what exactly she means. I would say that it takes longer at the beginning (until you find where to buy what, get used to taking a cloth bag to the shop, etc...) and then just as long later. But for me personally, I don't seem to have saved any time. It's just more fun on my heart that I'm not polluting my country.

Is waste-free living just about reducing litter and changing shopping habits? Or should people who want to reduce consumption and waste also clean up their minds, cultivate a culture of language, and distance themselves from idle talk and time-wasting? What are your experiences?

Oh, I'm definitely not Ilse Butkutė. She likes to explain how things should be said, how one word is "good" and another is "bad". Lamps.

In my opinion, what comes out of this kind of self-indulgent language is a huge desire to appear intelligent, to appear valuable, to be the centre of attention and to explain to everyone how to live. Such explanations are born of fear. It comes from an unwillingness to accept others as they are. Not wanting to listen, just wanting to shout "noooo, you shouldn't say it like that, you should say it like this, like I say it! You don't know anything!!!".

I think it says something that Ilse Butkutė and her "purity of speech" followers block anyone who speaks badly to them. Even if the person uses the word "you" as an expression of utmost affection, the interpreters of language take it as an insult. There is no conversation with others here - only interpretation.

I have expanded a little. But that's my current opinion on the "purification" of language.

I believe that the purge should not be about the means, but about the causes. If there's a lot of rubbish in the house, it's not the rubbish's fault! It's the person who brings the rubbish home. If you buy your children toys that they throw away after 10 minutes, it's not the toy's fault. It's you and your child. If you buy a lot of plastic toothbrushes, it's not the toothbrushes' fault. It's your fault for not buying the one that's an euro more expensive but organic.

Or, of course, you're not to blame. I don't think you need to tell others what is right or wrong - it all depends on what your soul tells you.

...And how to hear what the soul is saying? Back to laziness! It is only in moments of rest (a shower and a moment before falling asleep is good, but is it enough?) that thoughts arise from within. From your inner convictions. It is good to listen to them, usually at least.

Do you plan to continue the challenge of reducing consumption in the future? If so, how do you plan to integrate it into your daily activities and lifestyle?

Aha! I'm going to find a zero waste toothpaste in the future. Who has seen one? And is it even necessary? I hear you don't? ...I mean, there are still a lot of little things I need to learn about! I hope that the event in Lithuania, where Bea will be coming, will be a place where I can find inspiration and new ideas.

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