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.
2. Give the gift of local food or wine
- Bring home some delicious food in a jar with food from local, organic, and sustainable farms that can be found at one of our 10 farmers markets
- Bring some delicious marmalade from Happy Girl Kitchen
- Check out these local wineries
3. Buy gently used items.
- Buy second hand at one of ourlocal thrift stores.
- Go to thriftbook.com for the best of affordable books for yourself or your family, if you spend $10 or more then you’ll get free shipping.
- Check out CSUMB’s free and for sale facebook page for other 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
- Check out American Express's national list of small businesses.
Eat Green, Waste Less!
1. Buy just enough food for meals and save leftovers in dated containers.
- Use the recipe descriptions to get a clear idea about how much food each dish will create.
- You can use an excel template to plan out exactly how much food you need, with directions for use of the template here.
- 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.
- For vegetarian side dishes, check out some of these delicious suggestions from the food network or the New York Times.
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.
- 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.
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.