While she was finishing her studies in Business Management in Madrid, he was working in the hospitality sector in Paris and Hawaii. Shortly after this, they met during their travels to Australia, where they fell in love with nature, the ocean and each other.
Since then, Sandra (29, from Majorca) and John (29, from Nice, France) have brought two adorable babies to this world and recently settled on Majorca where they have opened their own single use plastic free shop NU Market, in Santa Catalina, to encourage and facilitate sustainable living.
But their dreams expand much further.
Today they share their story with us, and give their best tips on how to move towards a low impact lifestyle through simple changes in our everyday habits.
“Our project was born out of love for the ocean” they said when reviewing how it all began. “We both grew up lapped by the Mediterranean, and the sea has always surrounded our lives.”
Both Sandra and John are scuba divers. For some time, Sandra was working as a scuba instructor in Australia which allowed them to spend many hours underwater. While enjoying the beauty of the big blue, unfortunately the couple also got to witness its deterioration.
“The idea of opening a bulk shop arose after seeing with our own eyes how the pollution on the beaches was increasing and the oceans were suffering due to our consumption model.
“Every time we took a walk on the beach, or dove into the sea, we could see how contaminated it was with plastics.”
The couple brought bags to collect the rubbish and prevent it from returning to the sea where it could kill marine animals. After studying the topic in depth they learned about its true magnitude, and realised that clean-ups alone were not going to solve the issue.
“We found out that every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic enter our seas, and that today, the vast majority of plastics produced worldwide, around 79%, end up in the environment. Millions of birds, fish, whales and turtles die every year as a result of the plastic waste that our consumption model causes. In just a few decades we are destroying natural processes that take hundreds of millions of years to develop,” they explained.
The information, while hard to process, motivated the energetic couple to ask themselves how they could help change this negative forecast and to do what’s in their power to not only reduce their own plastic footprint but also to help others to do the same.
“Private companies have an immense responsibility. Only a radical change in the types of products they offer, and particularly in the packaging they use, can contribute to a notable improvement.”
Sandra and John considered how “shops of the future” could be designed in order to minimise waste generation and prevent plastics ending up in the environment.
“We concluded that our consumption model should return to the form it had in previous times when the customer was using his or her own containers to be filled with milk, wine, oil etc. in the store and we decided to open up our own shop based on those principles in Palma.”
The young duo have a strong will to help build a more sustainable world. In addition to offering package free products, they aspire to become a centre that contributes to collective awareness by organising workshops, educational talks and activities such as beach cleans, cooking workshops and so on.
“We have two small children and want to live in a world that where, instead of destroying it, humans come together to regenerate it.”
For Sandra and John it was important to develop a business that is based on, and fully aligned with, their own personal values.
“We want to be transparent and respectful of nature, to follow our truth, to learn, to help others, to live a healthy life, one that is also rich in human relationships, and to always try to be the best version of ourselves, with humility. We want to live in as harmonious a way as possible with nature and be able to look our children in the eyes knowing we are doing the best we can for their future.”
Save The Med’s World Clean Up Beach Clean on the 21/9 will be in Platja de Sant Pere (not Sant Joan as previously stated) in Mal Pas. At the same day there will be different activities organised by different organisations around the island. Choose among them by checking out our map!
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