Dreaming of a ‘Green’ Christmas? 11 Traditions Enviros Want To Ban


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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Apparently, saving the planet requires abolishing holiday traditions like exchanging gifts or decorating Christmas trees, adding to environmentalist’s long history of demanding all things fun be shut down.

Liberal media outlets have published a litany of articles claiming numerous Christmas traditions enjoyed by millions should be banned in the name of saving the planet.

The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled a list of 11 traditions environmentalists want to toss in the name of going “green.”

1: Giving Gifts To Your Family

Greens worry that giving gifts to everyone in your family creates way too many carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and could cause global warming. Therefore, you should only give a gift to one single person over the holidays.

“[P]ut the names of all adult family members on separate slips of paper and put the slips in a hat,” suggests “Take turns picking one name per adult – the name you pick is your gift recipient…Your gift list for the adults in your family has just been shortened to one!”

The site claims that this new gift giving ritual would reduce environmental impact immeasurably.

2: Christmas Trees

Left-leaning news website The Huffington Post encouraged readers in early December to consider the environmental impact of Christmas trees in an article this month comparing the relative “greenness” of real and artificial trees.

However, there’s a considerable debate about the impact of the festive symbol on the environment. The industry that produces Christmas trees claims that the average one removes more than 500 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.

3: Wreaths 

Environmentalists also worry about the impact of creating Christmas wreaths, but they aren’t sure what to do about them.

“If I decorate my front door with a cheery artificial wreath from China, and set up my artificial tree with its embedded lights (saving the world from extensive profanity associated with stringing lights the old way) that’s better than cutting down trees every year, right?,” worries The Daily Kos. “But what’s the carbon footprint of manufacturing and shipping the stuff from China? What’s being dumped into the air and water and bodies of the workers at the plant in China?”

The Daily Kos never actually attempts to quantify the impact of artificial wreaths, but Lynch Creek Farm, which sells natural wreaths, claims that chemicals used to make artificial ones are “toxic in its production, during the life of the product, and in its disposal” and never “fully break down in the landfill.”

4: Christmas Lights

Environmentalists worry that both the manufacturing processes of the lights and the electricity needed to power them will generate lots of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Greens worry that the lights are manufactured in China and thus the amount of CO2 emissions generated during their construction is effectively unknowable.

“Holiday lights result in tons of wasted energy each year,” the environmentalist website opined earlier this month.“Producing all this energy means more carbon dioxide emissions, which means more damage to the environment.”

The average house with Christmas lights uses a fair amount of electricity– equal to about 22.8 days of the average household’s electricity consumption. Green groups claim that an “extravagant light display” can generate 881 pounds of CO2 throughout the holiday season. This is roughly equal to the CO2 emissions of a single car driving 958 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

5: Christmas Cards

Environmentalists are also taking aim at  Christmas cards. A Pennsylvanian county newspaper recommended Tuesday sending out online “e-cards” instead of paper greeting cards in the mail to save paper, and the CO2 emissions that come with using it.

6: Wrapping Paper

The traditions of wrapping gifts for the kids on Christmas may be over soon if environmentalists get their way. A student-run newspaper for the University of Wisconsin suggested last week that gift-givers use inside-out brown grocery bags instead of traditional colorful wrapping paper for their gifts in order to reduce waste and CO2 emissions. The paper claims that wrapping gifts increases the amount of garbage generated by the average American by 25 percent over the holiday season.

7: Eating Christmas Meat 

Environmentalists are terrified of all the carbon dioxide emissions generated by cooking meats, including Thanksgiving turkeys.

“Studies are emerging that whether the meat is grown locally or far away, it still requires a lot of resources, including carbon resources,” Mike Tidwell, head of the environmental group Chesapeake Climate Action Network, told The Baltimore Sun. “If you really want to have a low-impact diet in terms of change, then you just have to eat a lot less.”

Tidwell claims raising beef generates the most CO2, but also says farm-raised fowl, like turkeys, are “still high-impact.”

Activists claim at the rate we’re munching through burgers alone, the world will need to use 42 percent of all land to meet future demand.

8: Long Drives To Visit Family

The liberal blog ClimateProgress wants you to use mass transport to get to your turkey dinner this Thanksgiving to avoid spewing out excess CO2. But there’s actually a huge debate about whether mass transit actually reduces CO2 emissions.

Even though gasoline is at records lows, environmentalists are already running campaigns discouraging road trips. Green politicians have spent years trying to convince Americans to drive less, with extremely limited results.

study by Duke University researchers found that taking the bus instead of a car causes a small reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, but only if the average bus is more than 63 percent filled with passengers. In practice, buses only rarely have that many passengers and thus tend to create more emissions than moving a similar number of people by car.

9: Christmas Dinner

Greens frequently claim that only eating organic and locally grown food can save the planet, and that you should do so for Christmas dinner.

But organic farming is less efficient from a land-use perspective than conventional farming, meaning more land must be brought under cultivation to produce the same amount of food.

Organic farms produce only 80 percent of what a conventional farm of the same size makes, according to a study published in the journal Science. Other studies actually show organic yields are even lower, at 50 percent of conventional farms.

10: Going Shopping

Environmentalist hate shopping for presents, claiming that gift-giving is making global warming worse.

“Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming,” claims  “Gift-giving is ‘non-essential’ and a good place to consider alternatives to battery-powered toys and gizmos.”

The site recommends buying local gifts to prevent CO2 emissions and openly encourages “re-gifting” as a way of “recycling” gifts.

11: Kids Playing With Toys And Games

Greens are worried that letting kids play with Christmas toys and games could be environmentally dangerous and teach the youth values that aren’t theirs.

Environmental blogs have instructed their readers to “pick games with an environmental theme, which help children appreciate the value of our environment and how important it is for us to protect it.”

They also encourage parents to give their kids less for the holidays, because the gift of slightly slowing global warming by a statistically undetectable amount is far better.

The DCNF intern Kevin Klenkel contributed to this report.

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