The Christmas Switch Off at Newcastle University

What is the Christmas Switch Off? 

The Christmas Switch Off is a University-wide campaign where we encourage staff and students to turn off any electrical items that can be switched off instead of leaving them on standby over the Christmas break. 

Why is the Christmas Switch Off important?  

By turning off everything that can be turned off, we will reduce our energy consumption across the campus, which is especially important this year given the current an energy crisis. The Christmas Switch Off campaign has been run for a number of years to minimise energy wastage and contribute to our carbon reduction targets.

We also hope that promoting of the Christmas Switch Off will promote positive behaviour change more widely and remind colleagues and students to minimise their energy wastage by remembering to switch off what they can every day.

Who participates in the Switch Off? 

We would like everyone at the university to participate if they are able to, that includes staff and students across labs, offices, and accommodation. The advice on what to turn off will vary for each location – guidance on what should be switched off is in this blog post.  

When switching off your work area, it can be helpful to organise a switch off team that can check each area after most people have left for the term to ensure everything that can be switched off, has been.

Here are some examples of items that could be switched in various area across campus:

  • Staff working in offices: Lighting, computers, monitors, printers and photocopiers, kettlers and fridges (after they have been emptied and cleaned). Also, it is important to make sure that all windows have been properly closed.  
  • Labs and medical buildings: All the above can be applied in addition to drying cupboards, fume cupboards and fridges/freezers that are not needed to be on over the break.

Many students leave their accommodation will be empty over the holidays. If you are going away over the winter break, these are a few things that you could do before you leave:

  • Clean out and defrost your fridges and freezers the day before you leave by turning them off at the wall and popping a towel underneath them to soak up the melted ice.
  • Turn off your kettles and toasters at the wall.
  • If there is a wall switch for your oven this is also a good thing to turn off easily, as well as lights and plug sockets.

For more switch off information, visit the Sustainable Campus website:

If you have any questions or ideas about the Christmas Switch Off, please email the Sustainability Team at 

Upcoming Events

Find out more about some of the fascinating research we undertake on our farms.

​The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences along with NU Farms and EcoBreed, undertakes ground-breaking plant and crop science research. These discoveries help to drive the latest innovations and make positive change.

One of the many things we grow on our farms is potatoes. Every year, we grow tonnes of potatoes and this year, we’re inviting you to join us in celebrating them!

The event taking place from 10am-4pm on 15 December in the Boiler House will showcase SNES’ pioneering potato research, and working alongside the Sustainability Team, Keenan Recycling Ltd, Eat@Newcastle and Newcastle Food Bank prevent food waste resulting from the harvest.

The daylong event will have plenty of informative talks, fun activities, free tasting samples, potatoes to take away to cook yourself and other freebies, courtesy of Bayer Crop Science and Keenan.

Find out more here:

We hope to see you there!

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