Sustainable UCL


12 Sustainable Christmas Tips!

14 December 2018

We have come up with 12 tips to make the festive period more sustainable and minimise your ecological and carbon footprint!

Christmas Tree Portico
  1. FSC your Tree! Make sure you buy a Christmas tree that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Recycle it afterwards or use it as compost!
  2. Make your Christmas travel greener by sharing lifts to the shops with friends and family or use public transport.
  3. Have a veggie Christmas! It is not new information that meat has a huge carbon footprint, but did you know that your protein filled Christmas meal could be more damaging than a flight to New York? Find lots of tasty veggie Christmas recipes here!
  4. Avoid shiny or glittery wrapping paper as it is unrecyclable, there are lots of alternatives that are recyclable and FSC certified. Why not use old newspapers to give that hipster look? You could also use string instead of cello tape to keep it secure!
  5. Be a Christmas party hero! This time of year there are lots of throw away plastic cups and plates at Christmas parties. Get involved with the planning and make sure you use real cutlery, plates and glasses - makes it fancy and classier!
  6. SWITCH OFF! Don't forget to switch off at UCL this Christmas. Make sure to unplug any electricals and turn lights off, you can make a pledge to switch off to win your department £200! Pledge here.
  7. Christmas is one of the worst times for food waste. Last year, the energy equivalent of wasted Christmas sprouts, could power a home for 3 years!  Save money and the environment by planning how much food you’ll need, or see leftover recipes from BBC Good Food.
  8. Get inventive! Ever thought of making home-made cards, presents or Christmas decorations? Get creative this year by making your own. DIY ideas here
  9. Look out for swap shops. If you have received any gifts that you won't use, instead of throwing them away, come along to one of our Swap Shops led by Reflect your Future. Give your unwanted gifts a new home!
  10. Compost all your food peelings or get a wormery to help break down the vegetable food waste into rich soil nutrition. Composting has many benefits including enriching soil and also reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint! Read here what is compostable and what isn’t.
  11. Don’t forget your reusable cup! Whether you're warming your hands at a Christmas fair or getting your daily dose of Christmas chai  - bring your reusable. Lots of cafes offer a discount if you bring your own cup, every penny helps in the Christmas period. #DitchTheDisposableUCL
  12. Make a resolution with your family and friends to be more sustainable in the New Year whether it is using the car less, eating less meat or making more of an effort to recycle! Check out Do Nation for lots of ideas on pledges you can make for 2019  here.