The Little Ways

You Can Be More

Sustainable

This Christmas

by Lissie Mackintosh 

It’s December, and ngl, it’s really exciting. The festive season is one of the best: full of family, food, and festive cheer. Whilst we all want to enjoy ourselves, as we should, there are little things we can do to keep our sustainability levels up and enjoy Christmas in a more consciously minded way. Here are my top tips for a more sustainable Christmas-- give ‘em a try. You never know-- you might really enjoy them.

1. Shop for food locally

Importing specialist or exotic foods, luxurious and yummy as they can be, is one of the biggest causes of an increased carbon footprint during the holiday season, due to how far they have to travel to grace our plates. Why not opt for seasonal fruit and veg, especially those which have been grown in the luscious UK countryside? Check labels in supermarkets and see what you can find. Just try and remember- shop locally, eat seasonally. And away we go!

2. Use public transport

Public transport is your best friend. Christmas is always made by the people we spend it with, but of course, oftentimes, that means travelling up to see friends and family. Sure, driving has its perks: big boot, service stations... but think about it: if more people got the train over the holidays, how much cleaner would our air be?

3. Buy second-hand presents

Second-hand presents are a great option. Yes, of course, charity shops are super easy options, but there are also beautiful items you can find from shops such as Reformation, Reclaimed Vintage, and of course, Depop. It has some real gems. Equally, buying someone something you know they will cherish for a long time is just as good. Yes, a more expensive bag is never as tempting to add to your basket, but if it’s something the person will end up cherishing for a long time, why not? Love not landfills- another easy one to remember.

4. Use sustainable decorations

The trees, the decorations, ALLL the glitter. Decorating the house was always one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for me, but thinking about it, it’s probably one of the harshest forms of plastic wastage there is. Tinsel, for example, is made from polyvinyl chloride- a synthetic plastic, which means when we chuck it away come January, instead of sitting on our fireplaces, it will sit in a landfill, and you guessed it, won’t be biodegrading any time soon. Why not go for a nice paper garland, or some reusable fairy lights for your room instead? Paperchase, Flying Tiger and Amazon are all great places to source decorations, or you could try making them!

5. Replant your Christmas tree

Speaking of decorations- the tree. Slightly unconventional one here, but why not replant your tree after the festive season, for another lease of life? Weird? Maybe. But yes, my mum really did do this last year, and I secretly kind of love it.
 

Photo by Lissie Mackintosh

Have the best Christmas, and make it a sustainable one.

We'd love to hear from you!

The Courtauldian

c/o The Students’ Union

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Vernon Square, 

Penton Rise,

London

WC1X 9EW

the.courtauldian@courtauld.ac.uk

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