There’s plenty of festive fun on campus this year, but we’re not letting our sustainability slip. Here’s a taste of what you can expect.
Scream’s Sustainable Swap Shop
The consumerism that has come to be a major feature of Christmas and other gift-giving holidays is at the heart of many of the sustainability issues associated with the season. To combat this, we’re setting up a Sustainable Swap Shop inside Scream, where students are invited to bring in a gift-worthy unused item and swap it for another. Sharing is caring, and gifting something pre-loved is a great way to avoid the impact of buying new. We’re all about giving pre-loved things a new life this festive season and hope you’re just excited to declutter and help the environment at once! You can also donate items without taking one for yourself – all leftover gifts will be donated to charity. With this in mind, please make sure all donated items are appropriately gift-worthy!
Get involved in Scream from 6 – 10 December.
Pedal-powered Christmas Tree
Decorations are also environmentally problematic – the throwaway nature of some novelty decorations (usually made of plastic) and the carbon footprint of energy-draining lights make a not-so-jolly combination when it comes to the earth. In fact, a 2008 study from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) found festive lights accounted for 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity consumption every year in the US. That’s enough to power the entire country of El Salvador for a year…
We’re drawing attention to that fact with our pedal-powered Christmas tree, where students power the lights by cycling on a stationary bike instead of plugging them into the mains! Join us in the Foyer from 11-4 from 29 November – 10 December to feel festive, get in a spot of wellbeing-boosting exercise between classes, and bring some festive cheer to the Union without the carbon footprint.
And a special perk for getting involved
Everyone loves free food, so to bring some holiday magic to campus we’re rewarding you for getting involved in our sustainable winter activities. All you need to do is download the Magic Stamp app – you’ll get a free scoop of Scream ice cream just for doing that – and get stamped when you participate in our festive fun. Once you’ve collected four stamps you’ll be rewarded again. What’s not to love?
You can download Magic Stamp from your app store or via get.themagicstamp.com – make sure to get the Leeds University Union stamp card by pressing the + symbol before kicking off your stamp collection. To claim your download reward, visit the Scream Fridge Bike on campus to get your first stamp, then head over to Scream in the Union building. After that, just let the staff at the Tree or Swap Shop know you’ve got the app, and they’ll give you your stamp once you’ve got involved. Easy.
Chances are you’ve seen the festive tent on the precinct already – but if not, make sure you do! It’s a real winter wonderland in there, and to also keep it as wonderful for the environment as we can, we’re donating to climatecare.org carbon offsetting projects to help make up for the energy used to run it.
For many, the holidays are all about the food, and with that in mind we’ve got lots of festive specials available. To keep the environment high on the agenda, Old Bar is offering a delicious vegan version of their group festive dinner complete with a tasty butternut and lentil wellington, Terrace have a tasty vegan option for their festive buffet, and Common Ground and Balcony have got a vegan Christmas Pudding Brownie for those with more of a sweet tooth. You can find more info about festive food at LUU here.