Mikaila Ceelen-Thomas | Masters in Commerce, Green Marketing Guru and Eco Volunteer
This year, we’re proud to be profiling students and staff who we believe are contributing to the culture of sustainability at UC. We are running this campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so get thinking about who you’ll be nominating this year! Nominations for the Awards are open from the 5 – 31 August.
In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Mikaila – our social media superstar, ray of sunshine and Eco Volunteer (all while studying towards her Masters in Commerce). You might even recognise her from the latest issue of Canta – fittingly, it’s the Environment Issue!Mikaila zooming on her bike in the latest issue of Canta (photo credit: Java Katzur)
Tell us about yourself!
I am currently doing an MCOM Majoring in Marketing, my focus mainly on over consumption and why people choose to consume less / follow a sustainable lifestyle. Marketing for me is the gateway to reduce environmental impacts in the workplace and society – raising awareness about green marketing and leading by example. A fun fact about myself I love marmite on ice cream (don’t knock it till you try it).
Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.
After coming home from my exchange in the Netherlands I realised the huge passion I had for the environment and ensuring we maintain our relationship with mother nature. When coming back to UC I sought out for sustainability focused clubs and the got in touch with the Sustainability Office. I found some pretty awesome clubs in relation to making a difference and getting involved, and joining the Eco Volunteer team was a great move, allowing me to meet and hang out with like minded people at sustainability events on campus. I also gained a better understanding of my personal relationship with sustainability and where I fit in. The UC Sustainability team played a big role in helping me get more involved – now I work with Chloe from the Sustainability Office on social media and communications to promote sustainability events we have around campus. Helping get the message out and showing students how to get more involved with sustainability is key to increase engagement for students both on campus and in their personal lives.
What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?
One area for me would be combining sustainability and engagement through social media. My main focus is communicating with students and staff the work we are doing around campus and our upcoming events. Ensuring that students are aware of the cool events we put on such as our Bike Breakfast or Zero Waste Workshops and then sharing a snippet of the action through blog posts, Instagram takeovers and Facebook. It’s so exciting to see all the people who come along to the events, and you can see this is often the start of something bigger for them. For example, we had 100 students come along to our Plastic Free July workshop! Right now I’m helping Chloe run some really cool giveaways over social media for Plastic Free July and Fairtrade Fortnight, and boy do students love giveaways!! It’s been really cool seeing students tag in their friends and flatmates in the competitions, and watching how excited people are getting about winning eco products like reusable straws and beeswax wraps is so cool!
I’m also a major contributor to the latest edition of Canta, which is the Environmental / Sustainability Issue (find me in Flat Famous – wohoo!!), and I’m doing some Plastic Free July blogging for the Sustainability Office on campus this week, so watch this space!
What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?
How UC is continuously striving to become more sustainable, little things such as the Cup Library in both the Eng Core and the Undercroft are big for me. Since being a fresher at UC I have seen some pretty cool developments and become much more aware of how sustainable our campus is. Who knew we have plenty of fruit trees on campus? Also how the UCSA’s Tea Party and other events have switched from plastic disposable cups to reusable ones – and not to forget our beautiful community garden – it makes me proud to be a student at UC.
Where to next for you?
This is my final year studying (woohoo), after finishing my thesis I shall step out into the real world and find myself a job. Ideally I will be working with a clean, green company that’s positively impacting the way we consume products. However, I would love to help guide businesses with sustainable practices, helping them grow and gain a better appreciation for our environment and why we need to take great care of it.
This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.