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The cost of Christmas

Date Published: 31/12/2007

Maybe it’s a bit of a Scrooge-like attitude to have, but don’t some aspects of Christmas seem to have a bit of an environmentally unsound tinge these days?

We’re all very conscious of climate change and of the fact that we’re roaring through resources which are finite to the planet. So it seems pretty wasteful to be sending many millions of Christmas cards which the recipients will look at once, say “ah, thanks” and then shove on a desk or shelf until it’s time to bin them in the New Year.

The good news is that more of us recycle now, so more of those envelopes and cards will go into recycling bins along with some wrapping paper and over-the-top gift packaging. But the fact is we’ve used no end of power, trees, ink, sticky tape and more to produce them, not to mention shipping them around the world (or at least from China…) and driving them around this country.

Tonnes and tonnes of food is wasted in this country each Christmas, even after we’ve gorged to excess. And don’t get me started on the OTT lightshows on homes that seem to be spreading faster than bluetongue!

There are some interesting Christmas-related facts and figures collated by Wiltshire teacher “Mr O’Callaghan” on his blog that make for thought-provoking reading.

It’s still a great time of year; a chance to sit down with family and (at least for many) some deserved extra time off work, but in these days when we’re supposed to be conscious of waste and mindful of reducing our consumption, couldn’t Christmas do with an eco-makeover too..?