Christmas is just a day away, and netizens are all geared up to have eco-friendly Christmas celebrations this year and beyond. Tree-lovers are not only urging people to celebrate Xmas without harming trees but also inviting eco-warrior and animal rights organizations like PETA to join the cause.
Netizens urged to join the movement
On Christmas eve, Twitter users urged those celebrating Christmas to take pro-environment steps while celebrating the festival.
People even urged celebrities to join in the cause of an eco-friendly Christmas.
Save Environment, Don’t cut trees on Christmas & Celebrate #EcoFriendlyChristmas .— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) December 23, 2020
Is Christmas bad for the environment?
It is not just about cutting trees. Several factors need to be discussed to ensure Mother Earth does not suffer the pain and agony on one of the most-widely celebrated festivals of the year. In fact, it is celebrated not only by Christians but by people from other religions as well. As per certain reports, a lot of food and plastic wastage takes place around Christmas.
According to reports, every year in the UK alone, people end up eating over 270 million mince pies, drink 250 million pints of beer, 35 million bottles of wine and kill 10 million turkeys. In simpler words, it can be pointed out that people eat 80% more during the Christmas period.
Studies have revealed that over 1 billion pounds worth of food goes to waste during the Christmas period and over 700 million pounds worth of useless gifts are bought and exchanged. Food, clothing, gadgets and more go to waste during this period. Money that could have been used for better purposes like donating food to charity, education of underprivileged children, or even creating jobs for the unemployed.
The plastic menace
In the last few years, people have shifted to China-made artificial plastic trees as an attempt to avoid cutting trees. Though it may sound good for the environment, in reality, they just end up adding more garbage to the landfill. Unlike natural trees, plastic trees do not decompose. They are often thrown away after Christmas, and as they are made out of plastic, which in the majority of the cases is of low quality, it adds up to toxic pollutants to the environment.
Wrapping papers are now made out of plastic or a blend of plastic and paper. It is also non-decomposable and adds up to the landfill. Decorations, ribbons, cheap gifts etc., all end up in the landfill, hurting mother nature. As per the studies available, Christmas gift-giving produces annual economic waste worth $4-billion to $13-billion.
Burning fuel to celebrate
The majority of the people wish to celebrate the annual festival with family. Those who live far away from their parental homes often travel back to meet the parents during this season. How much people love to travel during the Christmas period can be noticed by checking the air-tickets booked. It is almost next to impossible to get an air ticket during the Christmas period at the last minute. All this travelling add up to more pollution in the air.
Also, people decorate their homes with lights for Christmas. The additional electricity they use for days ends up causing a surge in the demand that means the powerhouses have to burn more fuel and create more pollution so that people can celebrate Christmas.
NGT’s strange behaviour on Christmas and New Year
National Green Tribunal or NGT had banned bursting firecrackers on Diwali as it causes pollution. Interestingly the same body has allowed bursting fireworks on Christmas and New Year for 35 minutes. In the end, people will burst crackers and add up to the pollution in the air.
What can you do?
Instead of following the traditional way of celebrating Christmas, which is only hurting Mother Nature, you should try to shift your concentration to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly way. You can avoid putting up a tree, natural or artificial. Make sure not to waste any food. Even going on a fast on Christmas will be good for your health, and it will not let you eat unhealthy junk food.
You can donate the money you have saved from not celebrating Christmas to an NGO, or you can donate groceries to Homeless shelters and kitchens that provide free food for the needy. Many hungry and needy people out there can use your help. So this Christmas, instead of burning a hole in your pocket, make someone happy and do not cut a tree.