My cynical opinion of Christmas may be due to the modern society in which we live in or perhaps as I have grown up and let the child inside me go. Either way, for me Christmas seems to have become more a time where we measure the depth of our love for each other by the price tag than the present itself.
Year in year out it’s always the same. We tear through shop battle grounds, have inevitable family feuds, fork out for the unnecessary while in the midst of a glittery commercial frenzy and obliterate the Christmas dinner adding a few more wrinkles under the eyes.
This festive season comes at a high price to the environment as more than six million trees will be incinerated or left at landfill sites and more than a billion Christmas cards to be chucked in the bin. With the manufacturing of artificial Christmas trees adding harmful effects to the environment, unappreciated wrapping paper adding to consumer waste and Christmas lights using up masses amounts of electricity just to make everything more ascetically pleasing it seems to be more a time of devastation than of celebrations. And they’ll be no joy at Santa’s little sweatshops this year as we buy into cheap deals which have most likely been laboured in third world countries with profits going straight into the multinational corporations pockets as they put income above all else.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a burden on the environment and with a little more imagination it doesn’t take much to drastically reduce the environmental impacts. Some gifts may fill a practical need but more often than not they are just unwanted gestures. Buying less is more. Surely instead of spending excessively on fast outdated trends homemade gifts are worth much more? We buy gifts from half way across the world without us even realising when local craft fairs and Christmas markets can be amazing sources for presents without any greenhouse emissions given off. Each year we buy into Christmas scam of wrapping paper and gift bags when more ecological means are available at the majority of shops offering recycled options.
Christmas dinner for many is the main part of the day and big supermarkets do their part to lure us in with discounted priced meats. Many animals are fattened, overgrown livestock pumped full of chemicals posing threats to our health. Yes, I guess Christmas is a time of indulging but look for free range foods as not only will this benefit your health and the environment, but also withstand the highest animal welfare standards.
We can have all have a Christmas with a conscience this year and celebrating it doesn’t have to be at the expense of the environment. So before the chronic fatigue sets in and the family squabbles over ownership of the remote begin, don’t give in to this bogus season and instead promote a greener Christmas.