Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas is the time to be unbelievably wasteful. And just like fake plastic trees wear Radiohead out, Christmas is accelerating the wearing out of our planet.

The fake plastic tree vs "real" tree argument has been well publicised over the years. In co2 terms it's better to go real. Which makes right now a very edgy time for young evergreens. Why not buy a living tree and plant it in January?

Shopping is of course rife at Christmas. This has led to an "end compulsory consumption" campaign and at least two "buy nothing Christmas" campaigns run out of the US (where I nicked the image, above). But I'm no killjoy. I need sox.

Be honest: your sister doesn't need a new ab-cruncher or a pair of spotted slippers. Tell her to go for a walk or to resurrect those ugly trainers she wore once. Either that or gift a pair of chooks on her behalf. The goat over on the right is from Oxfam who offer a range of gifts under the banner "unwrapped". It's simple and it's clever. You give where it's needed, your sister gets the warm fuzzies.

The list of festive excess is a long one - ridiculous packaging and wrapping, gaudi Christmas lights, gluttony, and beverages from single use vessels. There are many handy web guides for a greener Christmas, but the most important thing is awareness. Think about what you're buying. Preferably Kiwi or fair trade.

Christmas is a great time for fun with family and friends. Enjoy it with a clearer conscience.


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Baz said...

At least if you get a plastic tree it can be 'recycled' into the food chain:



I can't wait to see my son's face when (expecting a Darth Vader Voice Changer for a present) he unwraps a goat. I just have to figure out how to stop him (the goat) from eating the wrapping.

Guv said...

...you'd probably have to have nipple holes in the wrapping too. Sitting it under the tree for days without milking it would be plain cruel. Oh, and put it in sox - it'll protect other gifts and your polished timber floor from hoof damage.