How to Bring Joy to the World By Not Destroying It This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. That means warm hot chocolates, winter tunes, and all the consumerist habits environmentalists try to avoid all year. Behaving in an environmentally sound way is tough this time of year. I mean, wrapping paper is so cute—and Beyoncé always sells her own.


But all the things we buy during the holidays, including wrapping paper, are doing our planet no good. Tens of thousands of miles of ribbon are thrown out each year. Presents can look cute without the bow (or Beyoncé’s wrapping paper). Why not opt for a colorful newspaper instead?

And then there are gifts, which usually involve a lot of trash, too, especially in their packaging. The gift of experience (think a concert or spa date) is much more green. Maybe it’s exactly what your friend needs.

And when deciding what Christmas tree to adorn your living room with, make sure to buy an actual tree. The treehugger in you might think, “But wait! Kill a tree?!” Yes, kill it. This is a much better alternative than fake trees.

Fake trees are often made from compressed sheets of polyvinyl chloride. The burning and manufacturing of it, which usually takes place in China, is dangerous to human health. Plus, some of those trees can give off a lead dust. You don’t want the children in your life breathing that toxic junk in.

So this holiday season, do more than look out for your wallet. Look out for your planet and health, too.

Yessenia Funes is climate editor at Atmos Magazine. She loves Earther forever.



Yessenia, this a very disappointingly weak article. ‘...Use newspaper comics instead of wrapping paper’ has been recommended for DECADES. How about some christmas recommendations with some nards to them? Like: “nobody wants the shit you buy them, stop feeding the corporate machine that funds the political campaigns of the those assholes running/ruining the country”.

Honestly, isn’t it time people took a long, hard, look at the bizarre behaviour they engage in during December every year? Just because your family has always done it doesn’t make it less absurd. Those who use Jesus as the excuse don’t elicit any fondness from me either because a) Jesus never suggested you behave this way, and b) you don’t fucking act like you give two shits about Jesus the rest of the year.

Please propose that folks consider staying true to their resolve regarding the environment instead of getting caught-up in this maelstrom of madness every year.