Words by Copywriter/Chief Elf Amy Sergison.
Creating change for good. That is the foundation we are built upon. It informs everything we do. We also pride ourselves on being a group of creative people, who relish the opportunity to find novel solutions for problems.
But how could we solve a problem like Christmas? “Christmas, a problem? Surely not!” you say. But for a company that aims to use sustainable and recyclable materials and make things as beautiful as possible, it did present quite a challenge.
In my capacity as Chief Elf of McCann Dublin, I got my thinking cap on – complete with jingle bell of course – and designed a sustainable Christmas.
To make it happen, we had to gather materials. Print outs that we would normally shred, cardboard boxes we get deliveries in and even toilet roll holders. We collected all sorts and devised a plan to give these unwanted materials a new lease of life.
I gathered a team of elves, armed them with scissors, eco-friendly glue, push pins and twine and set them to work. For a few weeks lunchtimes resembled Friday afternoons in primary school, and it was bloody brilliant.
There is no doubt in my mind that communal activity and creating something from nothing is good for the soul and this process has doubtless been good for us.
People who might never get to work together were sharing scissors and snowflake making tips. Others who might often be found eating lunch at their desk were using their hands to create something rather than type.
Print outs became snowflakes large and small, and of course, paper chains. Newspaper evolved into a sky’s worth of stars. Packing materials transformed into tassels and cardboard boxes into a festive model street, including our own office. Eucalyptus and evergreens left over after a brand event were transformed into wreaths and garlands, filling the Malting Tower with the aromas of a festive forest.
Our showstopper, the tree for reception was sourced from a sustainable supplier, Green Trees in Co. Wicklow. They plant three trees for every one they chop down and last year, along with their partners, planted over 35,000 trees. Once our tree has served its Christmas destiny (one for all you Phoebe Buffay fans), Green Trees will collect it, mulch it and use it as fertiliser. Talk about the circle of life.
Once the office was decorated, Santa gave me one last very important job. On the morning of Monday December 2nd, everyone came in to discover a personalised salt dough snowflake on their desk. Yes, even the people who had been more naughty than nice – people who use the last teabag and don’t refill the canister, I’m looking at you. Our beautiful sustainable tree is now trimmed with upcycled decorations and handmade snowflakes.
We hope that if you visit our office this December you appreciate and are inspired by our sustainable Christmas. Take some time out this silly season, get your hands dirty and give waste an opportunity to become something beautiful. I know you won’t regret it. And if you need some tips, my Chief Elf hotline is open until December 20th.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.