Sustainability Action Blog


7 steps to a sustainable Christmas

By Julia Kendal |

Christmas Advent



1. Buy local. We’ll eat around 10 million turkeys in the UK this year. Not to mention all the potatoes, carrots and brussel sprouts! Buying the produce for your Christmas feast from local sources helps to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting it from further afield. The ‘Live My City’ map signposts local shops and cafes where you can shop and eat more ethically.

2. Go digital. Rather than sending cards in the post, try e-cards. They’re fun, personal and more environmentally friendly.

3. Choose LED fairy lights. They are a more energy efficient option, and could save you money on your electricity bill compared to other types of lighting.

4. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Christmas cards, Amazon boxes, sweet tins…so much of the extra waste we create at Christmas can be recycled. There are also plenty of ways to reuse these items, including turning cards into tags for next year’s gifts.

5. Use up those leftovers. In the UK, we throw away more food at Christmas than any other time of year. That food can be turned into soups, stews, sandwiches and much more. Love Food Hate Waste have some great recipe ideas.

6. Travel sustainably. Travel to the Christmas party using public transport, or car share with others. It will help reduce traffic, cut down carbon emissions, and it means you don’t have to say no to that glass of bubbly!

7. Donate your unwanted gifts. Don’t throw unwanted items in the bin – they can be donated to local charities or taken to an exchange event. Swap Shop is an opportunity for staff and students to donate, exchange or purchase clothing and accessories.

For more information about the University’s sustainability work, visit the Sustainability pages on the University website, like us on Facebook or follow us on @Sustainable_UoS on Twitter and Instagram.