Primary students have been reading and discussing the news recently about the environmental impact of Christmas traditions on the planet. It appears to be a very unsustainable holiday… We have learnt that more than a billion Christmas cards are delivered – enough to stretch around the world five times. 52 square miles – enough to wrap up the district of Minhang, are ripped off presents by Boxing Day. More than 125,000 tons of plastic packaging are thrown into landfills. And more than 6 million Christmas trees are disposed of – enough to stretch to the North Pole and back.
Dulwich College International schools have pledged to promote sustainable practices so that our students may become responsible global citizens, and grow up in a world free of pollution. In school, we have reviewed the ways in which we engage with our Christmas traditions in order to minimize the impact that our celebrations may have on the world. Currently, the oil and fashion industries are the two biggest global polluters. Our school council have decided to raise awareness of this by running an ‘up-cycled’ mufti day. Rather than buying new clothes, or a gimmicky Christmas jumper, our students have thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating something ‘re-new’ from old clothes that would have been thrown away. In our Early Years, our students have been creating stunningly beautiful Christmas decorations, and plastic free ‘trees’. The teachers are more than happy to share their ideas for your own trees at home, and it’s a lovely way to pass a cold afternoon over the holidays.
Furthermore, across the College we have committed to no more single use plastic cups. From January there will be no more takeaway coffee cups, lids or straws on campus. For all large College events, we will be using recycled plastic cups and yogurt tubs have also been removed from our College plastic footprint. We are also exploring our carbon footprint and tree planting to offset our travel. We are a long way from perfect in our endeavours, but we hope that by focusing on a little at a time to change, we can undo some habits of a lifetime. Happy Christmas to the world!