The place we met at was full of plants. Before I even entered the door, I had been already been greeted by some leaves looking over their pots, as if they meant to wave at you and give you a warm welcome.
Welcome to Mesa Verde, the Green Table!
As soon as I entered the door, I knew this was a place I’d love – on each step of the stair, you could find a little plant in a colourful pot. Right to your left, you could see an incredible varied menu written in a beautiful handwriting on a chalkboard. The menu itself was based on plants, intertwined with some vegetarian options. It would be hard to chose! I started with a coffee, that was a choice not hard to be made. I went for the cappuccino with coconut milk and could literally not believe how lucky I was. Once I had started appreciating coffee, thinking about where it came from, about the long way it had gone, and all the people involved along that way, I now truly can’t but feel overwhelmed and joyful to try the first sip of a hot coffee. The foamed milk moustache it leaves over my upper lip has become a trace of happiness.
Why was I here and with whom would I share my coffee with? 6 questions to Paulina from Zero Waste Aguascalientes
Paulinas is the founder of the zero waste (online) shop in Aguascalientes. Whenever you are looking for an alternative for „mainstream products“ and want to purchase products that won’t produce any waste, she is the one to talk to. You can find the range of products on her facebook or Instagram page. She founded Zero Waste Aguascalientes only a year ago and has already a lot of fans all around the city that are motivated to make a change!
1. What does zero waste mean to you?
Zero Waste to me means a life style. It means to be searching by all means for ways of living and consuming that don’t generate any type of waste.
2. When did you start to take an interest in sustainability?
A year ago, actually. So all in all, not that long ago. I felt that I needed to quit my job and give my time to something that would make a positive difference – I had read the book by Bea Johnson and was left much inspired. I decided to buy products that would make it easier to adapt a zero waste lifestyle – and then sell those. It worked all out.
3. Was it difficult to found your own business? And did you have any doubts?
One thing I was worried about was the reaction of people. Would they like it? Would there be a need for those products? Would people be interested? I had planned a month for the first stock I had invested in. It was all sold within a week. That was when I knew – okay, this was working. Apparently, there truly was a demand and need for accessible zero waste products in Aguascalientes.
4. What is your favourite product?
The menstrual cup. It is more than a simple product, or “an alternative” – it can make a big change! All those who menstruate can connect with menstruation on a completely different level, thanks to the menstrual cup. Menstruation continues to be a taboo topic, often associated with shame. That is very sad – the cup can offer some kind of reconciliation, a positive acceptance, a sense of pride. I very much like that about it.
5. Do you think social media can make a positive difference with regards to promoting a sustainable lifestyle?
Social media is an excellent tool to share our experiences and show, graphically, how easy it is to live a sustainable lifestyle.
6. What do you answer when people respond to you: I, as a single person, cannot make a big change anyway?
That it simply isn’t true. Imagine a box of 12 plastic bottles. If I chose to reject a plastic bottle in a store, then it will be one less in the inventory. If many people chose to reject plastic bottles, a powerful statement would be given to the supplier, namely: your bottles are not that high in demand anymore. Also, it is never only about one person – it also about an example given to many more. One small step can go a long way.
I couldn’t agree more with Paulina – one choice can make a big difference and we should never forget what huge power lies in the seemingly little decisions we are taking every single day! Think of how many single-use plastic razors you are using in a year- and think of how you could replace them with only one reusable stainless-steel razor. Think about the plastic bottles you could avoid – having in mind that plastic doesn’t only do harm to the planet, but also to your body! It is not only the whales that end up having plastic in their bodies, it is us, too! (Not such cool prospects, huh?)
Paulina definitely shows that with that one decision to open up a zero waste business, she has positively changed the lives of many in Aguascalientes – not least mine, since I am so glad I know where to get my shampoo bar and bamboo toothbrush from!
Thank you, Paulina, for this beautiful interview, I enjoyed talking to you very much! You truly make a difference here in this city and I am so glad I met you. xx Ariane