Colorado State University Students Offer Seasonal Sustainability Tips

Note to Reporters: The following are seasonal tips offered by students in Colorado State University’s Live Green community. The tips can be used alone as filler or in a group as a set of tips. If you need additional information, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or Please attribute the tips to Colorado State University’s Live Green students.

The following information provides seasonal sustainability advice from Colorado State University students who participate in the university’s Live Green community.

The Live Green community is an experience-based learning community sponsored by the university’s Warner College of Natural Resources and the College of Agricultural Sciences. The students who are members of the community learn about sustainability through service experience in national parks preservation, organic and traditional foods productions, and renewable energy.

Green Yule log
What is heating the hearth this holiday season? This year, stop and think before buying expensive packs of pre-chopped wood from healthy trees or burning synthetic logs. Instead, pick up a pack of pine logs from bark beetle-killed trees.

Compost holiday leftovers
As the family sits down and enjoys holiday dinner, consider composting the leftover food. Pre-consumer composting includes composting items such as raw vegetables, fruits, egg shells and coffee grinds. Composting returns much-needed organic material to the soil. If guests don’t finish everything on their plate, compost the leftover scraps instead of tossing them.

Reusable shopping bags
Before running off to spend some green, think green and bring reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags from stores are very harmful to the environment. Reusable bags also are typically not clear, which comes in handy when trying to sneak gifts home.

Spreading green cheer
Be a green advocate. When visiting family and friends, share energy-saving tips with them. Simple actions such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, unplugging battery chargers and powering off computer monitors can make a difference in energy savings.

LED lights
If the house is already aglow this year with holiday lights, consumers can shop the after-Christmas sales to stock up on LED lights for next year. LED holiday lights last longer and can save up to 80 percent on electricity costs over standard lights.


There is a simple way to decrease food waste by canning and preserving food. Different types of food – especially fruits and vegetables – can be canned. Preserving and canning can reduce the waste of vegetables used in dinner and fruit used in pies.

Honey sweetener
Use local honey during the holiday season. Honey can be used as a sweetener and if bought locally, the hometown economy is supported.

Buy local
Instead of buying gifts for family and friends from a chain store, purchase one-of-a-kind gifts from a local shop.

Games by candlelight
For family bonding, turn off the TV and lights and play a board game via candlelight.