Colleges Encourage Students to Have a ‘Sustainable’ Christmas

Have yourself a merry little environmentally friendly, pro-sustainability Christmas.

Colleges and universities across the nation are encouraging students to engage in “sustainable” and “environmental” practices this Christmas season.

Over the last month campuses have put out guides, tips and other advice on how to do just that, Breitbart Reports.

According to a report by The College Fix, colleges and universities around the country are encouraging students to engage in “sustainable” practices this Christmas season.

Some of the suggestions are truly bizarre. Furman University last month put out a memo titled “10 ways to a more sustainable Christmas.” They encouraged students to regift their own old items to friends instead of purchasing them new gifts.

“Going to a white elephant party? Don’t buy something new,” Furman University wrote in one post. “Gifts are just as fun, and sometimes funnier, when they’re re-gifted from last year or come from the attic.”

“Go digital. Plastic gift cards aren’t recyclable; make these easy gifts easier by emailing them. Sending e-cards is faster, easier and safer than licking envelopes,” Furman added. “Digital advent calendars are fun, interactive alternatives, and you can still eat chocolate.”

Activists at Gonzaga University are concerned about a giant Christmas tree display on campus. Why? They claim that the tree and its dazzling lights consume too much energy.

Each year Gonzaga erects a giant Christmas tree in John J. Hemmingson Center and holds an annual tree lighting ceremony for those in the community to join in the celebration, complete with songs from the campus a cappella group, as well as hot chocolate and cookies.

“It’s hard because a lot of what sustainability is, is pretty inconvenient to a person,” one Gonzaga activist, Ellen Bradley a member of  the student group, Fossil Free Gonzaga,, said. “It goes against tradition but I think it opens up this huge realm for creativity and the way we celebrate and honor these traditions.”

“Energy-wise, powering the tree is not sustainable at all,” Bradley added. “I think that it’s hard because it’s associated with the university, being a Catholic holiday, that it makes sense that they would want to celebrate Christmas in this way.”

The “sustainability director” Alandra Waters Lake at the College of William & Mary, Virginia has some novel advice for students heading home for Christmas: consider not actually purchasing a gift for someone in order to lessen your greenhouse gas emissions. She also encouraged students to regift old items instead of purchasing new ones. She even encouraged students to hide gifts in the home instead of wrapping them to avoid using wrapping paper.

“Think first does the item even need to be wrapped? One suggestion is a scavenger hunt to find gifts hidden around the house,” the director said.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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