Interview with Silvija Rumiha, the Founder of Zero Waste Bali & Mini Muncher



You have been residing in Indonesia for quite a while now. What motivate you to stay and build Zero Waste Bali?

Yes I have been living in Bali for 7 years. My partner was offered a job to work in Bali so we made the move and have loved it ever since arriving in 2011. Zero Waste Bali came as I wanted to make a change and help clean up the plastic pollution found on the land in the ocean. I have another business called Mini Muncher and I started to make changes within the business by changing the plastic packaging to glass and also went label free. I wanted to do more than that and slowly opened the first Zero Waste Bulk Food Store in Bali and Indonesia.

Explain to the readers what Zero Waste Bali and Mini Muncher are?

Zero Waste Bali is a bulk food store where you come with your own containers, jars, produce bags and fill up what you need. You simply weigh your container, fill it, weigh it again and pay. It’s simple and easy and helps reduce the waste pollution on the island. Items are displayed in bulk bins or glass jars and you take what you need. There is less waste this way also as you don’t have things sitting in your pantry or cupboard being unused.

Mini Muncher is a delivery and in store service where we produce organic baby and kids food, healthy snacks, muesli bars and more. We have fed thousands of children whilst people have been on holidays and the local community too. I started a healthy school delivery service where we provided lunches to schools too. I asked parents to bring in a thermos to reduce take away boxes being thrown away. Freshly prepared meals were delivered to schools, thermos’ picked up, washed and redelivered full the next day. I believe that nourishing children from the very beginning is important and set them on the right path later in life. 

What is your most memorable moment since you’ve been in Bali? Tell us about your experience.

There have been many great moments. I simply love going on adventures with my children. Not knowing where we are heading and ending up in some amazing and wonderful places and hidden gems is something we love to do. We have visited and explored all parts of Bali from The Bukit, to Medewi, Balangan, Amed, Ubud, Pemuteran, Lovina and stumbled across waterfalls and other beautiful scenery.

Who has inspired you in life, and why?

I get inspired daily by many different things. However there has been 1 person who I connected with on Instagram and our journey has been rather similar. Christine Wong @Consciouscooking asked I donate a recipe via my instagram account @minimuncherbali where all proceeds go to Lonley Whale and Plastic Ocean. I first did this 2 years ago and again this year. I guess looking back this was also something that help me be inspired about opening Zero Waste Bali.

Are you in a special diet? Is there any food you can’t eat and why?

I am vegetarian. After watching A Plastic Ocean – which I recommend you all to see- I could never eat fish again. To be honest knowing how much plastic is in the ocean and how it breaks down to microplastic and fish and other sea creatures eat it has totally put me off eating anything from the ocean. Not to mention that I don’t want to eat any type of animal in general. I prefer to enjoy time with animals then see them on my plate.

 What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

Ha ha there have been many!

What goals do you have for the New Year?

I want to help educate, inspire and teach others about the importance of making small changes to their daily life and help reduce the plastic pollution we are experiencing in the world. I hope to open more Zero Waste Bali stores and help be part of the solution. I also want to create more memories with my family and children and enjoy what the world has to offer. Being more present with them as my children grow up is something important to me too.

What do you for fun during your day-off?

I love having weekend away with my family and friends. I love to travel and have new experiences.

Give us some basic easy tips that people can do in their everyday life in order to support the environment  

Some basic things that we can all do is first to refuse things that we really don’t need. Use things that you already have and really ask yourself do you need that new item and if you do can you buy it second hand? Bring a reusable bag and bottle to refill water are really important. If we all just did this, a huge difference would be seen to our planet.