2019 has been a year of climate awareness, arguably far more than ever before. Sustainability is not a new thing, but increasingly, people are becoming more aware of their environmental impact. If you want to be more environmentally conscious and have a sustainable Christmas, here are some top tips.
Charity Shops and Freecycling
There are few things more sustainable than buying second-hand goods. Clothes and books for friends and family, donated Christmas decorations for your student flat already are much better for the environment than buying new things all the time. Use freecycle sites for your Christmas tree and decorations. When you move out of your accommodation, it’s likely you will simply throw it away; just freecycle again.
Buy Local Goods
Much of the carbon footprint from manufactured goods is the transport cost. Local markets are all the rage in most towns and cities these days. Etsy Made Local is a popular trend at the moment, not that Etsy is the only company promoting local goods. Your local Christmas market will largely have locally-sourced goods, especially with food items. Shop as local as possible. Keep your footprint down and support growing local businesses.
Get rid of those old Christmas lights and replace them with LEDs. You will likely struggle to find the old types now in shops where LEDs are commonplace, but if you have older decorative lights still hanging around at home, you would do well to get rid of them. Light emitting diodes require far less energy and last far longer.
Replace Your Packaging
One issue sustainability campaigners want to raise awareness of this year is wrapping paper. Much of this is not recyclable, especially the glittery stuff. Where possible, always choose that which can be recycled over the fancier stuff that will only go in the bin. Alternatively, use old newspapers or magazines to wrap gifts. Alternatively, use gift bags.
Most students head home for the Christmas break. If you’re planning on staying at your student accommodation, or you’re a mature student that has moved permanently, get into good produce practices. Buy seasonal produce and locally for your Christmas dinner to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.
The Christmas Tree Debate
This is one that may never be resolved. Fake trees are imported from China and are made from plastic. That is a poor carbon footprint. However, they last many years and the longer they last, the lower your footprint for not buying a new one.
Real trees take up a lot of agricultural land for growing. If sold without roots, you will need a new tree every year which has a high environmental impact. Trees with roots are more expensive but they represent a good investment as they will last many years.