How to have a more sustainable Christmas season

Nelly Ramos-Laguna

At Bellarmine we have begun to implement ways of being sustainable on campus. Through the sustainability club these ideas have been able to be spread throughout the school. But will this continue when students go home for holiday break?

To help students continue to be sustainable while at home, here are some of the ways to be sustainable during the holiday season.

 

One of the most creative ways is to make your own wrapping paper. Immense amounts of wrapping paper get thrown away every year and are often not recyclable because of the plastic coatings they contain. Instead you can recycle old paper bags to decorate, use old newspapers, or even cloth items like scarves or bandanas. Lastly, if you have to buy wrapping paper make sure to buy ones that are recyclable or compostable.

 

Another area of waste during the holidays are electronics. A common gift during this time is often a new phone, tablet, or computer. Each year around 130 million cell phones are thrown out and recycling electronics prevents hazardous elements and additional waste from ending up in landfills. Christmas lights are also an essential part of the holiday season and LED lights are the best option for this because they use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights.

 

A way to make your food more sustainable is to support local farmers by buying local and organic food for your holiday feast. Additionally, you can switch out single-use eating utensils for real dinnerware and freeze or donate leftovers.

 

Another way to make gifts eco-friendly is to make hand crafts or DIY gifts. Similarly, experiences or quality time that are fun, new, or interesting, can also be gifts to replace some of the more material items. Gifting food items and sending electronic cards can also be ways to reduce the waste that occurs during the holiday season.

 

Lastly, donating time or money to an environmental cause can be a simple way to be sustainable. But sustainability does not have to be a drastic change and can be implemented throughout our lives consistently through small steps.