Visit the “Sen’s stall” which sells Vietnamese natural and organic products in Hanoi.
A stall for slow living
Sen’s stall is founded by young entrepreneur Dang An who inspires and practices zero-waste or minimal life in Hanoi. Like many young people living in a modern city separating from nature, Dang An is trying to get closer to nature and protect the environment as well. As a chef of a restaurant, he decided to start to eat a vegan diet, then open a shop to sell some organic daily products that can help city dwellers easily find non-chemical and environment-friendly stuff.
Unlike a supermarket with a variety of products, Sen’s stall scale is quite small and lovely. He mentions that most of his products are being sold to cafes and restaurants in the city. These places can help reduce many of plastic products and affect customers’ behavior in a positive way. Here, you can easily find many straws made from bamboo, paper, wood, metal, as well as some sugarcane food boxes, natural soap, eco-friendly toothbrushes, bamboo mats, small miscellaneous stuff and even cotton bags for shopping — designed by An.
About the shop’s name
The Vietnamese name of An’s shop is “Sap hang Chang Sen”. Sen, besides its meaning as lotus, is also a nickname for a helper. Sap hang is small stall you can see in the traditional Vietnamese open-air market, particularly in the mountainous areas. Now the market stalls are less popular due to the increase in supermarkets. Products of stalls are often home-made ones.
Tips to pursue a healthy and green lifestyle
An says he should not be called a zero-waste person. He called himself a person living by nature’s rules in which people and nature live in harmony. According to him, this way of living can be learnt from our Vietnamese ancestors.
Hundred years ago, Vietnamese people knew to use natural products in daily life. Looking at the old Vietnamese meals, bamboo food covers and bamboo chopsticks were mostly used; fresh home-made vegetables and poultry from countryside were popular. Now it is hard to keep up that simple lifestyle.
A useful tip for youngsters to learn is choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables. Nowadays vegetables and fruits are year-round, so it is harder to choose the right ones at right time. An mentions that the vegetables and fruits in their right season often brings better taste and quality. By contrast, eating unseasonal fruits and vegetables can gradually kill your taste for natural flavors.
Living green or living zero waste is based on our simple decisions such as choosing to reject a nylon bag at the supermarket or deciding to walk or cycle rather than driving.