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Here is some of the advice on how we can spread Christmas Cheer in a sustainable way: (their suggestions indented).

Give creatively, thinking beyond material things (e.g. dance lessons, concert tickets, massage therapy, donations towards a cause etc.)

Because things like dance lessons do not require studios, transportation to the facilities, and materials and emissions. Nope.


Purchase a pesticide-free tree

Why are they focusing only on Christmas? That either seems non-inclusive, or suggesting that only Christmas celebrators are the ones harming the planet. Do we know if real-trees are “more sustainable (whatever that means) than fake ones? What about a fake tree made from fully recycled materials? What about the transportation to the tree farms? And so on.


Support local businesses and farms to reduce CO2 emissions

Empirical evidence should be easy to find here. We know, for sure, that “local food” has a much larger environmental impact than non-local food, do you understand why that make in fact be possible for other goods and services? In any case, what about the pandemic?


Opt for curbside pickup or purchase in store instead of having your order shipped

See above. You are VERY likely to emit more CO2 by your drive to the store, than on the incremental emissions from a gift coming to you from an Amazon delivery truck. Again, this is at least an empirical question.


Reduce food waste by storing them for future meals

Their writing on waste, for years, is such that people seem to generate waste for fun. I can’t remember being anywhere in my previous 46 years of life, whether it be on a backpacking trip, a community luncheon, a restaurant, a family or friend’s meal, where stuff is “just thrown out” …


Use kitchen drying rags to wrap gifts; it’s like two gifts in one!

Now talk about spreading cheer!

  • Recycle gift wrap, cardboard boxes, and cards
  • Use paper bags and recycle them after use
  • Recycle any plastic bottles and glass

There is a large and growing literature on whether recycling saves resources, saves energy, reduces CO2 emissions, and so on. The research, at best, says recycling is totally inconsequential and if you were being non-sympathetic you can find a huge amount of the work demonstrating the negative effects.

None of these, ever, has ever been presented with any evidence that they do any environmental good (they don’t, even if they didn’t all backfire, the magnitude of their impacts are negligible compared to the actually massive impacts we have on the planet through land use, habitat destruction, water quality, air quality), and of course any questioning is regarded as bullying.


One Response to “We Wish You An Unexamined Christmas and a Science Free New Year”

  1. A Leap at the Wheel says:

    “Opt for curbside pickup or purchase in store instead of having your order shipped”

    How… how do they think their item got to the store?

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