For all of us concerned about the earth's precious and limited resources, Christmas time really stretches and strains our conscience. We think carefully about the purchases we are making, about whether they are necessary and whether they are responsbile.
At Biome Eco Stores, we agonise over finding the balance between encouraging consumption at Christmas and operating a viable business. For any retail business, and particularly one like ours that operates at the margins, Christmas is vital to our survival throughout the rest of the year.
Our mission at Biome has to be two-pronged - one is to help everyone who visits our stores make a difference to the planet, and secondly, to continue to exist so that we may help people with those choices!
While loading the brilliant new range of Tegu magnetic building blocks onto our website, there was the reminder we needed about what we are doing. In the below video, the founder of Tegu, Chris Haughey says that parents will always spend money on toys for their children. Tegu's aim is to help people spend that money where it will have a positive social impact.
As Chris explains, Tegu is a "for profit" engine for positive social change in Honduras. Being able to support businesses like Tegu is what makes us at Biome happy!
Some of us choose to live a minimalist, buy nothing life, and some of us choose to consume with a conscience. Obviously, Biome is a store for the later - but, we have great respect for the former!
For every product we choose to stock, we run through our selection criteria assessing what the product is made from, where it is made, who made it and under what conditions, how long will it last and what will happen to it at the end of its life.
We need stores such as ours with an ethical and eco focus to ask the questions and demand standards that profit focussed retailers overlook.
Thinking about reduce & recycle at Christmas
Planet Ark has produced an excellent list "The 12 do's of Christmas" (thank you to our facebook friend for letting us know about this!). All very easily achieveable actions to help you reduce and recycle this Christmas. Ideas like:
- Buy good quality decorations that can be reused many times, or make your own from reused materials.
- Gather all your steel bottle caps and save them in one can, then fold down and send the whole lot off to recycling.
- When giving new electronics, recycle the old electronics - Planet Ark's RecyclingNearYou.com.au has an excellent resource on where to find places to recycle just about anything.
- Invest in a battery recharger for your home and give rechargeable batteries with gifts.
Tegu's product designer talks about the thought process and 'maths' behind Tegu's magnetic wooden building blocks, which have the unique ability to build stronger minds for children.
See the Tegu range available in Australia at Biome. Visit here for our green christmas ideas.