Sustainable Festive Season!
Plastic? Don't know her.
- Posted Thu, Dec 15, 2022 4:12 PM
Tis the season! And speaking of seasons... it's cold this winter!
So, how can being sustainable help? By making small changes, you can have a big impact on helping fight the climate crisis - so check out our top tips for a sustainable festive season!
Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree:
An artificial tree, although you may have it for a good few years, will contribute to plastic waste, so make sure you're investing in one you want to keep around! Buying a real Christmas tree is more environmentally-friendly than a fake one. Just make sure you buy an FSC certified tree so it is responsibly sourced. Be clear on how to dispose of your tree once the season is over, or if its potted – just replant it! There are also some schemes in London where you can rent a tree!
Or you could look for other alternatives, like fabric wall hangings, or a mini potted tree!
Light it up:
Use LED lights on your tree! They use less energy and look just as good! Also, switch off your lights at night, it's safer and won’t cost the earth. If you have a small tree, opt for battery operated lights to save those pennies!
You can DIY Christmas decorations quite easily - there are lots of tutorials online about making your own decorations. You can also make these as a gift for others and their tree!
Bring your own bags! When you’re out and about, remember to bring your own bags when Christmas shopping!
Less is more:
According to one survey, over 32 million (62%) of us receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas (source: https://www.finder.com/uk/unwanted-gifts).
If you do receive an unwanted gift, there are things you can do with it (rather than just leaving it at the back of your wardrobe). Try returning it, regifting it or donating it!
If you don't want to be that person buying unwanted gifts, try:
- Asking them - what would they like? This way you are reducing the chance of getting them something they don’t want or already have.
- Get thrifty - we need to start normalising buying and gifting second hand. The thought is still there, and you can find some real gems in your local charity shop!
- Secret Santa - you can always decide to go for quality, not quantity. By having less people to buy for, you’re not panic buying and really thinking about what the person would like!
Presence, not presents:
You can always gift someone an experience, rather than a material item. You can choose something you both enjoy and make a day of it!
Batteries can be recycled at many places, but a lot still end up in landfill as they are difficult to get rid of. They can leak harmful chemicals into the environment. When choosing items or toys for younger family members, try choosing something that doesn’t need batteries or wooden toys instead!
Adopt, don’t shop!:
This is great advice if you’re looking for a family pet, but it’s also great advice for Christmas. Why not adopt an animal in someone's name as a gift? They might get regular updates and photos about the animal, so it’ll be a gift they can enjoy all year round!
Did you know, food production is one of the biggest causes of tropical deforestation? This Christmas, especially as they are smaller affairs, think about how much food you will actually need - and eat! Of course you can have leftovers (which you don’t have to wrap in plastic! Try putting it in Tupperware, foil or beeswax covers!), and safely freeze what you won’t eat.
It’s not everyone's favourite meat, so why not choose move veg instead? It’s always good to eat more vegetables, and there are lots of meat alternatives for the big day! You could even consider taking part in Veganuary in the New Year!
Where does it come from?:
When purchasing your Christmas food haul, be sure to check if you are buying your meat and veg from local or British farmers. It’s not always an option for everyone, but might be something to keep in mind when you are choosing what to buy!
Looking great - again!:
Dressing up for Christmas is a tradition and we all love looking our best. You don’t have to splash the cash - wear something you already have! Or do a jumper swap with friends and family! Or check out the local charity shop - especially after Christmas and plan ahead for next year!
Everyone is feeling the pinch this year and it can make events like Christmas stressful. Christmas is not about presents and splashing the cash - it's about quality time with friends and family and enjoying the company. Take time to rest, relax and recouperate and enjoy the break.
The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.