I know you came into this article with a “what” expression on your face. Like, how can Christmas have a dark side? It’s full of parties, dinners, celebrations, and not to mention – presents! Christmas is the splitting image of fun so how can it have a dark secret?
While I agree that Christmas is a joyous occasion (one of my favorite holidays, in fact), I can’t say that it’s perfect. Sure, everyone’s up and about making preparations and filling the air with holiday spirit. Sure, the TV and radio are airing songs and Christmas specials to make the season feel extra special. And sure, mom is busy perfecting her turkey ham recipe for the family to enjoy. But behind the festivities, behind this façade of perfected happiness, lies a deeper and darker truth.
“Christmas” is one of the major contributors to the world’s annual waste deposit.
That’s right. Everytime you throw a plastic cup away, everytime you tear down a pine tree, or wrap a birthday present, you are contributing in what I like to call “the waste bank of Christmas.” After the holidays are over and people’s lives resume to how it was before the merry celebrations, Christmas garbage fills dump sites and landfills. On a yearly basis, an estimated 3 million tons of waste is recorded to be taken care of by waste management groups – and that’s in the UK alone. This isn’t just an alarming number; it’s an appalling. Imagine all that waste about to add to the world’s “already” problematic state of the environment. Threats of global warming, storm surges and toxic air are already hitting us left and right. If we are to add to that problem by accumulating this much waste in a span of a month, then we should already prepare for the worst.
When Mother Nature hits, it hits hard.
So this holiday season, why don’t we all try to do a little bit better when it comes to waste management? Instead of real trees, let’s use reusable ones. They may not have the smell and the crispness of a real one but think of it as an investment to the environment. Each tree you refuse to cut helps restore clean air. Synthetic or not, a Christmas tree is still a Christmas tree; it’s all about perspective. Also, we should refrain from using non-biodegradable gift wrappers. Paper gift wraps are cheaper and easier to degrade compared to plastic ones. Better yet, buy recycled gift wrappers. I see malls putting them up for sale nowadays. I tell you, it feels nice to buy with purpose.
These ways may be tiny and overly simplistic but it is certainly better than not doing anything – or, making things worse, for that matter. Let the change start with you. Don’t wait for some superhero to act upon this problem because he will never come. It is up to us to save the Earth; to save our home. A little change goes a long way so why not start one today?