Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Last Temptation of Christmas

I am weak. Here I am, less than two weeks before Christmas, preaching about sustainability to strangers, and yet tempted to pretend like everything will continue as it has.

One way to reduce this temptation is to avoid stores and malls, which are set up with one goal, and only one goal: to get people to buy new things. There is a more insidious source of temptation on my desk, however, connected to most major stores through the Internet.

If I were to succumb, my handy ecological impact table tells me that I should not buy medicine (like anyone wants that for Christmas); tobacco (not likely); hygiene products (yeah, right); food (other than fresh); or new clothes made of cotton, wool, or leather. The best gifts are items that are used, reusable or recyclable, and last a very long time. If I travel anywhere, I should go short distances; don’t stay in a hotel or motel; and avoid restaurants and entertainment.

So far, I’m mainly a sucker for eating out and movies (okay, maybe software and books, too). I’m sticking close to home this year, and using Christmas as a chance to share what I’m not using with others. My New Year’s resolution is already in place: Begin spending down and supporting the new economy.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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