Sustainability Tips for the Holidays

If You Have to Buy...Buy Conscientiously!

1. Donate to a Charity in Someone’s Name

  • Heifer International is set up for giving a farm animal to a family in need in somebodies name.
  • Unbound challenges poverty head on by working with sponsors to provide school fees and healthy meals for children across the globe.
If Your Have to Buy...Buy Conscientiously!

2. Give the gift of local food or wine

3. Buy gently used items.

4. Give an experience

  • The New Moon Bioluminescence kayak tour of the elkhorn slough
  • A Day at the aquarium where you can take advantage of your student discount.

5.  Cool Sustainable Gift for Kids

  • Check out these great options for kids (braille wooden blocks, seed bomb sling shots, veggie sidewalk chalk -- yes, please!)

6. Skip Black Friday, and support Small Business Saturday

Eat Green, Waste Less!

1. Buy just enough food for meals and save leftovers in dated containers.

Eat Green, Waste Less
  • Do not go shopping between holidays until you have eaten through your entire pantry and refrigerator.

2. Bring a vegetarian dish to the holiday feasts.

3.  Start a holiday compost in your home

  • Make your own compost.
  • Vermiculture is an odorless option that serves as a reliable talking point with guests.
  • Compost is great for your garden, or donate it to a community or campus garden.

Deck the halls with balls of (upcycled) Holly!

1. Make your own holiday decorations from natural, or “upcycled” items that will last from year to year.

  • A small, pot-grown Christmas tree that can be used year after year, and helps to mitigate carbon.
  • Make a Christmas tree out of your old textbooks.
  • Bring home this season the parts for a driftwood Christmas tree.
Deck the halls with balls of (upcycled) Holly
  • Try upcycled DIY snowflake decorations from old plastic bottles.
  • Use leftover glass bottles or jars and a string of lights that only lights up half way to good use by making a lamp out of it with this easy upcycled DIY lamp.
  • Convert any old incandescent light bulbs, into Christmas tree ornaments.

2.  Turn your lights off from midnight till sundown, and consider buying LED Christmas lights.

  • Just keep your Christmas lights on from after dinner (5pm) until midnight and you'll use 71% less energy than if you left your Christmas lights on for 24 hours a day.
  • LED lights are 80% more efficient than conventional lights.

Travel Sustainably

Ride the real polar express

1.     Catch the Amtrak out of Salinas

  • Catch the Amtrak home from the Salinas Station, and don’t forget to use your 15% student discount.

2. If the bus or train doesn’t make sense for you, carpool home!

  • Talk to your friends about coordinating your schedules this holiday season to reduce the cars on the road.
  • “Outdoor Recreation” in the Student Center has a whiteboard near their front desk for students who are looking for carpool buddies if none of your friends are heading in the same direction as you.