There is a particularly cosy atmosphere in the kitchen of Hugo Mega. His light-filled apartment under the roofs of Sablon, the antiques and arts area of Brussels centre, seems to be filled with kindness. As Hugo speaks about his lifestyle and the philosophy behind it, it becomes apparent that kindness is indeed very ingrained in everything he does. "If I'm non-harmful to people, then I want to be so also for the nature", he says.
When Hugo is not teaching yoga or performing for circus and dance spectacles, he may well be trying out different organic ingredients for making his own household and self-care products. He also aspires to contribute to a cleaner environment by creating zero waste.
It was during his yoga teacher training in Bali that he learned about how negatively plastic and chemical products affect us, including contributing to imbalances in our hormonal and lymphatic systems. Inspiration came to him also from an American blogger who was studying ecology but realised how un-ecological she was herself. Then as New Year 2016 rolled around, Hugo made a resolution. Since then he has reduced his use of chemicals and plastic to a minimum, adopted a vegan diet, and pays attention to the durability of the products that he uses. For him this lifestyle is part of his quest to be conscious about who he is and what he leaves behind.
And indeed, in Hugo's cupboards almost everything is stored in jars or paper bags. His way to skip packaging waste is to shop in bulk at Le Marché Bio, Les Ateliers des Tanneurs.
It is through experimenting with different ingredients that Hugo has found great organic mixes to replace chemical household products. White vinegar forms the disinfecting base for nearly every mix, combined with substances such as natural soaps, baking soda and essential oils.
In addition to household products, Hugo also prepares his own self-care products. Regarding scent, he wonders why we move so much away from our natural one. Each of us has our own signature scent. If he 'fakes' the scent, he uses essential oils.
Hugo notes that we tend to value home-made things more because they are made by a real individual and their care. "If you put love into your products, they will give you love back. It's about putting your spiritual energy into what you use", he says.
DIY WASHING POWDER
mix equal parts baking soda and vegetable soap (Savon de Marseille without extra scent or other - Hugo uses Paillettes de Savon from La Droguerie Ecologique)
rose essential oil (Geranio Bourbon)
DIY ALL-ROUND CLEANER
Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps
essential oils (lavender, tea-tree and peppermint are great disinfecting ones)
Hugo loves cooking and giving time and care to the food he prepares. Respect is important to him, and his motto is to be more considerate of the environment, more considerate of our own health and wellbeing.
HUGO'S VEGAN LUNCH
home-made curry powder
...cooked in coconut oil, adding water and let simmer