Merry meets Sustainable this Christmas
Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year here in the salon. We love the festive cheer, the celebratory energy and yes, we even love the Christmas carols.
But something we’re acutely aware of, in amongst all the fun and time spent with loved ones, is the amount of waste that is so often synonymous with this time of the year. The discarded wrapping paper, Christmas cards and wasted food, just to name a few.
As a salon that passionately believes in sustainability (did you know that our salon was built and designed using recycled, sustainable and organic materials?), we too believe in taking these values into our daily lives, and the festive season.
So what does sustainability mean to us?
It means having the least amount of impact on the environment as possible.
Supporting local businesses.
Being aware of the kilometers our purchases have travelled, and
Giving back to those less fortunate than us.
Whether you’re a Sustainability Crusader, or a complete newbie, we’ve got you covered this festive season. Here’s some simple ways the Mikki Auld team will be approaching Christmas sustainably this year. We’d love for you to take what resonates and play your part in your caring for beautiful Mother Earth …
Be mindful of your use of plastic.
Because of its durability, plastic takes many years to break down. In 2015, Scientists estimated that there was more than 236 000 tonnes of plastic in our oceans worldwide (reference). Sadly, so much of what we buy at Christmas time is made of, or comes wrapped, in plastic. Our groceries, wrapping paper, gift cards, gift tags, presents and decorations - the list goes on and on.
One easy way to make a huge impact during the festive season is to be mindful of your ‘plastic footprint’.
Choose vegetables that are loose, rather than packaged in plastic.
Use recycled wrapping paper or get creative with old magazines or materials.
Choose gifts from brands that have eliminated the use of plastic and other unrecyclable materials, like styrofoam, from their packaging.
Use dried flowers, fallen leaves, twigs and other gifts from Mother Nature as decorations for your Christmas tree and gifts.
Purchase gifts that are made from sustainable materials, good quality and will stand the test of time.
Re-use what you already have.
Although it can be fun to get swept up in the excitement of Christmas and buy gifts, new decorations and themed table settings, doing so can cause harm to the environment (hello: mileage, unwanted gifts going to landfill and the use of unsustainable materials), and get very expensive.
This year, we encourage you to consider what you could re-use …
Do you own something you don’t often use, that could be re-gifted?
Could your old table decorations be given a makeover and ‘face lift’?
Could your Christmas Day outfit be ‘recycled’ from a previous year or purchased from a thrift store?
Could you re-use old wrapping paper or make your own from recycled magazines and other materials?
Support local creators and stores.
One of our favourite things to do is support locals who are creating original pieces and doing so sustainably. There’s so many things we love about buying from locals - the one off originals, the ‘low mileage’ the products have to take to find their way into our homes, sometimes being lucky enough to meet the makers at local markets (the Finders Keepers markets are one of our favourites!), and the fact that we’re supporting a small business to succeed.
Although there’s many local brands we love, a special mention goes to Brisbane store, Biome. Known as the home of ‘Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices’, Biome is your one stop shop for all your sustainable gift needs.
Eat less meat.
Meat production leaves a huge environmental footprint. The Sustainable Table claim that:
‘The processes within the food system not only produce food, but also other outputs such as greenhouse gases, waste water, packaging and food waste. Each of these contributes to environmental degradation’
‘The food we choose to eat contributes more to our eco-footprint than our transport and home energy use combined with meat, eggs and dairy products being the biggest contributors’
‘Apart from greenhouse gas emissions (reported to be 18% of all emissions), the livestock industry is also a major source of land and water degradation, contributor to acid rain and the degeneration of coral reefs, and a driver of deforestation’.
Because we understand that eating a plant based diet isn’t for everyone, the Mikki Auld team suggest celebrating Christmas with a more sustainable menu this year. You could try this by introducing more vegan dishes to your Christmas dinner table, catching your own seafood, buying from and supporting local farmers, and buying organic grass fed beef.
Make homemade gifts.
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a homemade gift. As easy as it can be to jump online or find something already made in a store, homemade gifts truly do come from the heart and quite often, require a bigger investment of time and energy. If you’re not creative, never fear! Natural skin products, delicious relishes, personalised essential oil blends and ‘memory’ albums are just some of the favourites of the Mikki Auld team that require next to no creative skills whatsoever!
It’s not unusual for the bins to be filled to the brim with wasted food, discarded packaging and other bits and pieces at the end of the festive season - but it doesn’t have to be this way! Why not try ...
Saving any wrapping paper you’re gifted for next year.
Wrapping your gifts in reusable or non-disposable materials like fabric and clothing.
Sending personal emails instead of cards (which very often get thrown in the bin).
Contributing leftover food and enjoying a Boxing Day ‘potluck’ lunch with your friends.
Recycling appropriately - there’s so many things we don’t recycle that we can. You can freshen up your knowledge with Brisbane City Council’s handy ‘Best Recycling Guide for Households’ guide.
Avoiding the use of disposable plates, cutlery and napkins.
Asking everyone to bring a reusable container to your home (or whoever is hosting) so that they can take leftovers with them.
The options really are endless!
Support a charity.
Most of us have been fortunate enough to have lived a privileged life, having had money, safety and education at our disposal. At a time like Christmas when so many of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by people we love, giving and receiving gifts and feeling safe and healthy, the Mikki Auld team believe that it’s even more important that we play our part in supporting those less fortunate to experience some Christmas joy.
Last year, Mikki’s family pitched in and gifted her World Vision vouchers. These vouchers bought a goat for a family, provided education to a young girl and fresh water and food. Mikki says that this was by far, her favourite gift to date.
There’s a number of charities, both local and international that you can connect with and give back to. Here’s some of our favourites:
We don’t know about you but to us, enjoying a sustainable Christmas feels exciting! Take what you feel inspired by from these options beauty. Know that every little bit helps and that Mother Nature will be positively impacted by your contribution.
The Mikki Auld team wishes you the happiest of Christmases. May your days be merry, bright and sustainable.