We recently did an interview with plant-based chef, Melissa, the creator of Forkin' Plants. We met Melissa at one of our favorite events, Renegade Craft in Los Angeles last year. Check out her amazing plant based recipes, meal plans, and blog here.
- Author - Melissa - @forkinplants -
This is the first interview I've done and I'm SO honored to have it be with Amanda and Alberto; my favorite husband and wife duo who run the company Me Mother Earth!
I met this amazing Las-Vegas based couple in November 2019. I was at the Renegade Craft Fair here in LA, shopping by myself for unique holiday gifts. I passed a booth that was filled with eco-friendly products and had a huge crowd. This guy was rearranging products on a shelf and asked if I've seen their collapsible straw and spork kit. I hadn't, but a spork? Please, tell me more! He then proceeded to take it out and explain everything to me. His deep passion was palpable and I was impressed with everything he showed me. The more he talked about his products, the more interested I became and was basically throwing my money at him! I later found out that this man was Alberto. I ended up buying a few products to give away as gifts. But let's be real, I ended up keeping the spork kit for myself and use it regularly! It comes in handy when I take a quick bite of food in my car, when I go to a coffee shop with no straws, and it's especially great for snacking at the beach!
Since meeting them, I've ordered even more products and have loved everything. Some of my favorites you may have seen me post about are the silicon bowl covers and my bamboo toothbrush holder. They carry everything from kitchen and bathroom products, to beauty and pet care - all to help you live a more plastic-free and sustainable life! While you can get a lot of similar products on Amazon, I highly recommend ordering from and supporting a small business instead. And the best part? ME Mother Earth has amazing prices! Many eco-friendly products are marked up which turns away people who may not be ready to spend that much to make sustainable swaps. But Amanda and Alberto are keeping it real with their affordable prices which is one of the many reasons I love them so much! Ready to learn more about this admirable couple working to save the planet? Read my interview with them below!
1. You’re a husband and wife duo who started your company with a single product. What is that product and what inspired you to create it?
We started our business with a Collapsible Straw + Spork Kit. We are big travelers and adventurers and wanted something we could and WOULD easily take with us anywhere to eliminate single-use plastic. My mom had gifted me a stainless steel straw years ago (ahead of the curve and a huge inspiration to me) and I never could figure out how to carry it with me. We wanted to give people something practical that would encourage them to actually start making swaps from plastic.
2. What is your favorite product that you make?
I’m partial to our straw and spork kit because it started it all, but now paired with our bamboo mason jar lids- cutting out waste by reusing jars you already have as to-go cups! Alberto’s favorite is our vegan biodegradable floss- such a small change but with a big impact over time.
3. You fulfill all orders with plastic-free shipping - love to see it! What eco-friendly materials do you use to ship your products / what can customers expect?
We upcycle and reuse boxes and shipping material sent to us when possible. Other materials include kraft paper cardboard, envelopes, and kraft paper/compostable corn peanuts for packing. Plus paper tape for sealing packages and paper (not carbon) labels. (Melissa's note: If you get deliveries and find yourself with lots of boxes on your hands - don't toss them! Instead, see if any small businesses in your area will accept them to reuse! It saves them money and it's better for the planet.)
4. When did you switch to a plant-based diet and how has that journey been? Any tips for our readers?
We swapped to a plant-based diet at the end of 2019 after watching “The Game Changers.” There definitely was an adjustment period but now we know how to make a few more things, and really enjoy FOOD. It’s all about matching the seasoning and texture. We love Forkin Plants’ recipes!! We eat the smashed chickpea sandwich on the regular :)
5. What are some ways we can incorporate low waste shopping during COVID (a time where reusable items may not be allowed in stores)?
Here are some tips and tricks I’ve personally used to #skiptheplastic at the store: ✔️Ask for paper! Use paper from the bakery or mushroom section to bag produce that needs to be bagged if they won’t allow your own produce bags. Or skip the bag altogether and group like items together at checkout. ✔️Skip bagging in the store altogether- just put everything back in the cart and bag them in your car with your own bags or boxes. Yes, this is an extra step for you, but the planet will thank you for it. ✔️Look for produce that is unpackaged or about to go bad- this cuts down food waste and plastic waste. ✔️ Buy staple foods in larger portions to cut down on packaging until bulk buying returns. ✔️ Search for food in cans, glass, or cardboard whenever possible, and don’t buy products you can easily make at home (oat milk for instance). (Melissa's note: Shop their nut milk bag to help make your own plant-based milk at home!) ME Mother Earth's Reusable Produce BagsME Mother Earth's Reusable Produce Bags ME Mother Earth's Reusable Produce Bags $9.49
6. Many people are blaming large corporations for pollution and global warming, rightfully so, and saying that onus shouldn’t be placed on us as consumers. Do you have thoughts on this? How can we hold large corporations accountable?
I’ve thought a lot about this recently, especially since some are using it as an excuse to do nothing. I truly believe change begins with ME. I have a personal responsibility and where I spend my money speaks volumes. Sure those corporations are causing climate change, but how did they make their money... with our purchases. STOP buying their products or byproducts (i.e. plastic is really big oil), sign petitions, and speak out! Vote. This is SO important, whether someone thinks so or not. The people we elect are in positions of power to make or break any environmental policies. It’s not going to be easy, systemic change will take us all working together, but that starts at home. (Melissa's note: Click here to make sure you're registered to vote and learn more about your local voting deadlines, info, etc.)
7. While the climate and pollution crisis is so much larger than us, we can definitely still make a difference! What are some easy swaps we can start with to incorporate more sustainability into our everyday lives?
I think it’s unrealistic to think everyone is going to go vegan, drive electric cars, install solar, never fly in an airplane, grow all their own food, etc. Start where you can. If you don’t think you can go plant-based, eat LESS meat. Drive less. Compost food waste. Simple things like switching off the tap or light switch add up over time. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Shop secondhand for clothes and for furniture. Choose reusable products that will last you a lifetime. Bonus! Most of these things actually SAVE you money in the long-run too!
8. Thank you so much for all of your knowledge and tips and letting us get to know you better! It’s been a pleasure. Before you go, can you leave us with one quote that inspires you?
To honor the late RBG, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg