It is a busy time of year that could equal a lot of waste. ACC Experts share tips whether you are hosting, traveling, or staying in this season. 

Written by: ACC Energy and Sustainability Office

It only takes small actions to leave a big impact. Check out our helpful tips this holiday season to prevent waste and minimize your carbon footprint into the New Year.

Nature’s Decorations: Find or create holiday decorations made from natural materials.

LED Lights: Go LED! LED lights use one-tenth as much energy as conventional holiday lights (and last longer).

Ornament Swap: Instead of buying new ones, arrange an ornament swap with friends.

Card Crafts: Reuse holiday cards to make postcards or gift tags.

Reduce, Reuse, Regift: Donate or gift clothing or household items you no longer use.

Nature’s Gift: Give a gift that grows, like herbs, succulents, and trees. These are gifts that keep giving.

Handmade Gift: Whether you bake, write, craft, or construct a gift, it always comes from the heart.

Gift an Experience: Support ACC students and give tickets to an upcoming ACC production or performance with the college’s Dance or Theater department. You can find upcoming events here.  Or, consider the gift of relaxation, and purchase a Massage Therapy gift certificate. Services are offered through ACC’s Massage Therapy Academy. 

Zero Waste Party: Instead of single-use plastic, opt for reusable or compostable cups, plates, silverware, and utensils.

Shop Local Foods: Source food from local farmers and check out places like ACC’s Ag Sciences’ farm stand at the ACC Elgin or Highland Campus, or indulge in one of the Culinary Arts Department’s bake sales.

Feed Others: Donate food and/or volunteer with local food banks this holiday season. You can volunteer at one of our campus food drives by signing up here

Wash Full-Load: Run your dishwasher only when it is full to save energy and water.

Shop Local Gifts: Get unique gifts at local shops, craft markets, and/or farmer’s markets.

Use Reusable Bags: Bring your own bag to the store to avoid plastic bags going in the landfill or ocean. You can purchase one of ACC’s own reusable Eco Bags online here

BYO Container: Bring reusable containers to the grocery store or for holiday party leftovers.

Pack Light: Packing lighter saves you money on baggage fees and uses less energy for your holiday travel.

Night Out: Don’t drink and drive this holiday season. ACC’s green pass is safe and free and gives you access to Capital Metro’s entire system. Learn more and reserve your pass here

ACC remains committed to sustainability. The college has installed solar panels on 8 campuses, and Round Rock and Elgin campuses use 100% renewable energy from Texas wind farms.

For more information about the Energy & Sustainability Office and ACC’s environmental efforts, visit