Can we do Christmas in a Sustainable way?

One of my all time favourite books – and one I re-read every year – is Hundred Dollar Holiday by Bill McKibben (you can read excerpts of the book in this article. I have even forced it upon given it to various family members to read too so they understand that the shopping and consumerism aspect of the holiday really stresses me out. I think there are two holiday trends emerging these days: the people who always wanted a house full of lights are going overboard now that they are adults and buying as many lawn trinkets as possible (inflatable snow globes run on generators?) but there are also the people who understand that Christmas isn’t about taxing your bank account or the power grid and are doing what they can to put some spirit back into the season.

In a recent Grist article they have provided a gift guide for eco-minded shopping – and not just for those who have money to buy at speciality stores either.

When it comes to gift-giving this holiday season, rehabilitation ‘twould be best to give nothing at all but experiences and bits of wisdom. But if you happen to find yourself wandering a big-box store (or you know that’s where Aunt Edna does all her shopping), are there green gift options? We set out to investigate, hitting up the big-box trifecta: Target, Wal-Mart, and Kmart.

Personally, I think it is better to make your own gifts every year but not everyone has the luxury of time – or, in my case, the desire to leave everything until the last minute until you are crying over your sewing machine. Today they came out with another article: Ten great ideas for “stuff-free” holiday gifts which is more my speed since I already have everything I need. I think what is important is that people do what they can. I am a firm believer that we vote with our dollar – so that leads me to the question: can Christmas be done in a sustainable way? And I follow that with: what you are doing to make a difference this Christmas?

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