Zero-Waste Christmas Ideas

Religious or not, most of us get swept away with Christmas cheer – but how can we continue celebrating whilst being mindful of our beautiful blue planet? Read on for simple ways we can alter our habits and perception for a merry Christmas, without the guilt of a carbon footprint a yeti would gawk at.

 

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Rethink the Word ‘Gift’

When we think ‘gift’, the same image normally comes to mind. Something that’s tangible and wrapped with a pretty bow. However, not all presents need be physical. Here are some examples:

 

Experiences

What’s the thing they’ve always wanted to do but never got round to doing? Visit an attraction? See a show? Take a class*? Get a tattoo? *cough* How about purchasing a Gift Certificate so they can tick something off their bucket list? ‘Cause let’s face it: more socks are never on anyone’s bucket list…or any wish list for that matter!

 

Time

From a coffee date to helping move house; you choose how much time you’re willing to give. Time is a precious commodity and I find the older we get, the less we have (until retirement years, at least). Use the opportunity to revive old friendships and strengthen ones that have weathered the stormiest of weathers. You may find that you cherish those moments far more than a material gift ever could.

 

Handmade

Let’s get real: Who doesn’t love receiving cake at any time of the year? Cakes, cookies or something savoury – Pinterest is overloaded with ideas and recipes. If you’re a dab hand at things like knitting or crocheting, you could make plushies or accessories instead. 

 

Repurposed

Wanna get crafty? Give unwanted items a new lease of life that would be useful or decorative in any home. From hampers made of plastic bags, simple but elegant flower vases, or custom coasters, there are blogs all over the internet where budding creators share their knowledge. Again, many can be found via Pinterest (search for ‘upcycle’).

 

* I bought some lessons for myself via Udemy** on Black Friday and can’t wait to try them!

** Not a sponsored post. Just sharing the love. 🙂

 

Support Local Businesses

Naturally, I’m biased here. 😉 However, when you buy locally, from owners whose livelihood relies solely on lovely people appreciating our skills and/or products, it really does make our day. We spend all our energy in something we hope others will acknowledge and you buying from us ensures we can cover the rent, bills, food and gosh, maybe even a treat for ourselves!

Gift Certificates can be bought all year round and delivered straight to your door.

Personally, it’s taken me over three years to get to a stage where the thought of buying a coffee and slice of cake doesn’t riddle me with anxiety…and that’s all thanks to the accumulative efforts of me showing up and you guys spreading the word. Our businesses can’t survive without you and our spirits would surely sink if we had to give it up.

 

Wrap Responsibly

Need ideas on ways to wrap your pressies, without the traditional wrapping paper that can’t always be recycled? Try these on for size…

Reusing Existing Paper

Cardiff’s very own Green Squirrel community recently held a workshop, where they reused all sorts of materials to present their gifts. Parcel paper, scarves, twine, foliage…even loo roll! Spark your creativity and give something truly unique by trying a different approach this year.

 

Furoshiki

From the blog, 1 Million Women.

The long-established art of folding objects with cloth has been used in Japan for may years, gaining mainstream attention more recently with the wave of people choosing sustainable living over cheap convenience.

 

Upcycle Leftover Tubs

Every year, someone is guaranteed to give you a box of chocolates or biscuits for Christmas. Is this a British thing? I swear it’s almost compulsory to have a family tin of something, regardless of whether you have kids or not. Either way, thanks to this fabbo blogger, you can magic a tacky-looking tub into something super cute (or chic, depending what finish you go for).

 

Shop at Zero Waste Stores

Photo by Mary W Thomas for Ripple Living, Cardiff.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has a zero-waste store (like we are now, thanks to Ripple Living and Viva Organic), they’ll normally stock all sorts of goods that can be bought as gifts (e.g. handmade soap or reusable cosmetic pads). Check them out! You’ll be doing extra do-goodery by supporting local business whilst helping the planet. 💚

 

 

Consider an Alternative Advent Calendar

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As a belated wedding gift, I bought my friend a limited edition Christmas advent calendar from @authentichouseuk . Each day in December, they'll open a treat that'll help them live in a more ethical, sustainable way. 😀 I asked Alice (owner of Authentic House) if she could throw in some extra bits if I rounded up the price, hence the little parcel next to it. . . . If you're looking for tips, products or inspiration on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, check them out! 🌍💚🐳 www.authentichouse.co.uk . . The advent calendar is already sold out, so register your interest for next year! . . . #christmas #christmaspresent #weddinggift #christmasadventcalendar #adventcalendar #alternativeadventcalendar #authentichouse #authenticchristmas #ecofriendly #ecoadventcalendar #sustainableliving #saveouroceans #SupportingLocalBusinesses #womeninbusiness #noplastic #plasticfree #furoshiki #ecochristmas #ecofriendlychristmas

A post shared by Naomi Hoang (@naomi.hoang) on

Recently, I purchased an advent calendar from Authentic House, which promotes sustainable living in an easy subscription box that’s delivered straight to your door. Each day, you can unravel an item that can either help you swap habits for more eco-friendly ones (such as replacing cling film with beeswax wraps), or an ethical treat for yourself, such as handmade lip balm made by a local producer. The one pictured above was a limited edition piece I bought for a friend as a wedding gift for her and her family. 🙂

…this way, every day leading up to Christmas can feel like…well, Christmas! 🎄

 

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That’s all from me! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. 😚💕

Naomi xxx


Why Winter is the Best Time to Get a Large Tattoo

Photo of a Japanese-style sleeve, based on the elements fire, water, earth and sky. Designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the ink is so delightful~ Okay, I’m no songwriter, but that’s not what this is about anyway. Ever wonder when the best time to get a tattoo is? Well, it depends on what you want and where you want it.

 

Why Winter?

Generally-speaking, Winter is best for large projects because the cooler temperature makes the healing process more tolerable. Fresh tattoos are essentially an open wound, so if you’ve got a lot of skin vulnerable, you don’t wanna be stuck in a heat wave with plasma oozing everywhere.

Mmmmm, plasma.

Good Places to Get Tattoo’ed

  • Upper body
  • Thighs

These places are good all-year round…it’s just more comfortable to heal large pieces when the weather isn’t muggy.

 

Avoid During Winter

  • Feet
  • Lower legs

Hey, I won’t stop you, but I will advise waiting until it’s flip-flop season for foot tattoos, as fresh ink rubbing against thick socks all day (and probably night) aren’t gonna do it any favours. The skin is thinner in that area, making it harder to hold to begin with, so the lower down the foot we go, the higher the chance of it rubbing away through wear-and-tear, regardless of the weather.

Lower legs aren’t as concerning, but if you’re likely to wear skinnies and boots…again, friction from daily movement will fade your new tattoo faster than if you wore loose clothing until it healed.

 

Other Pros

Less Prone to Fading

…because it won’t be exposed to sunlight as often, if at all. UV rays fade tattoos – especially ones that haven’t healed fully yet.

 

Less Sweat

The brisk weather means you’re less likely to sweat during the day, which would normally clog the pores and lead to…

 

Itching

Healing tattoos itch. SO. MUCH. My advice is to either pat the area or put something cold on it. The cooler environment should temper down such urges, making the process more bearable.

 

 

Cons

Dry Skin

Depending on your skin type, you may be prone to dry skin when the cold air hits it. If this applies to you, simply moisturise your tattoo when you feel is necessary so it doesn’t dry and scab up.

 

Less Room to Breathe

We normally wrap up at this time of year, which means fresh tattoos would have less time to breathe. Try not to wear anything too tight around the area to avoid friction and irritation.

 

Fewer Chances to Show Off

Without a doubt, most people will join in your excitement and want to see your tattoo. Unless you’re happy to unravel layers of snuggly warmth each time, you’re better off having a photo on your phone to appease them.

 

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#NAOHOAstory…Always With Me

(1/3) I met this lovely lady whilst buying a coffee! She’d always wanted a tattoo in memory of her mother but didn’t feel comfortable in having it until we met…#NAOHOAstory⠀

 

 

(3/3) R.I.P…😔🎗 #NAOHOAstory⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Generally speaking, I avoid asking questions that are too personal, as it’s up to you how much you want to share or withhold* – just as I avoid initiating hugs, as I feel it would be unprofessional of me to do so (it’s okay if you want a hug – I get that having a tattoo can be an emotional process!). I can’t imagine what her journey was like through such loss, and was amazed at her strength and kindness.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ …without a doubt, your mum would be so very proud of you. 💕⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ * information shared here is strictly confidential.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

 

This client gave me a sketch to work from, but I forgot to add it to the video. 🙈

 

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