Why Christmas Time for me Just Isn't Christmas Any More...Category: Climate Change, Sustainability
For a number of years I've been coming to terms with not celebrating Christmas.
When I was a child, Christmas was always something I looked forward to.
It was always a feeling of anticipation.
But things have changed.
Since I moved to Brogo and toward a more sustainable lifestyle, we've been gradually moving away from celebrating Christmas.
Christmas has become a time of overconsumption. It's bad enough that we're exposed to the level of consumption that has gripped most of western society but at Christmas time it reaches epidemic and ridiculous proportions.
I've come to the conclusion that we're buying large numbers of possessions that we can't possibly need or use in a lifetime. No matter how I try, I can't reconcile this with the need to live sustainably to ensure security for future generations.
As a couple, we're often criticised for not having the "Christmas spirit" but I know that I couldn't sleep at night, knowing that I'd contributed to depleting the earth's resources, creating pollution and contributing to global warming just to appease sensibilities in not being a killjoy.
Next time you celebrate Christmas consider this:
A report written by The Australia Institute in 2005 indicates that more than 50% of Australians receive unwanted Christmas presents, and that 21% of people give gifts to people they don't want to. And that 73% of people surveyed would be happier for someone to make a donation to a charity on their behalf than to receive a Christmas gift.
"A Nation of Wasters" (2005) also provides a few more sobering facts about overconsumption; that Australians waste some $10.5b worth of goods and services that they buy each year and that we throw away $5.3b in unused food. This is 13 times the amount that Australians donated to overseas aid agencies in 2003.
that around 70% of the Christmas presents are made in China.
80% of artificial Christmas trees sold in the United States are made in China, and in 2005, Americans spent more than $130m in plastic Christmas trees from China.
They also spent more than $39m on nativity scenes made in China, and it was predicted that they would spend more than $1b on Chinese made Christmas ornaments.
Lester R. Brown, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, wrote " Itís not the fact that our Christmas is made in China, but rather the mindset that has led to it that is most disturbing. We want to consume no matter what. We want to spend now and let our children pay. It is this same mindset that introduces tax cuts while waging a costly war."
Read the full article and you may just change your mind about how you celebrate Christmas next year.