Monday, December 20, 2010

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but the fact that the Christmas lights and trees in the Rideau Centre have been up for weeks already alarms me to no end. It’s really difficult to get into the holiday spirit when I’m still wearing hoodies and carrying around an umbrella; not to mention the fact that midterms were still happening when the first wreaths went up. In any case, our lovely materialistic society is preparing to ring in yet another massive shop-a-thon season. Holiday hours are in effect in every mall and store, and I’m already overhearing people PANICKING about buying the perfect gift. Are you serious, people? But actually?

For those of us that don’t subscribe to the crazy person’s newsletter, there is a different way to go about things – it’s called: “Let’s not kill our wallets, the environment, or our sanity.” I read a lovely little article this morning ( that really opened my eyes to the less-obvious damage we do during the holidays. Everyone notices the blatant infractions: metres upon metres of festive wrapping paper, oodles of decorative ribbon, boxes, bags, cards, envelopes…the list is endless. What about all the lighting? The trees we select? You don’t have to drive yourself positively insane worrying about every last detail, but the important thing is to be aware. As it’s been said countless times before, the best present doesn’t necessarily imply the most expensive material good; bake a friend some cookies, make recycled cards, or organize a holiday swap party!

As stated in the article, the energy consumption of holiday lighting is brutal, for lack of a better word. Take it easy on the lights; you’re not looking to land a plane in foggy conditions. As for the remaining, more appropriate lights choose LEDs, which both cut down on energy consumption and will last longer than traditional lights.

So, that’s that. Enjoy your holidays, everyone!


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