A festive blog post from liz Longden:

Looking back at my blog posts it’s been nearly four months since I last wrote anything. I had been thinking that it was getting hard to find anything to say about plastic that I hadn’t already said. But it’s almost Christmas again, and the season of buying stuff. The Christmas adverts are all there, telling us that we can’t have any sort of Christmas without ‘stuff’. They equate consumption of ‘stuff’ with love, with family togetherness, with children’s happiness’ . That one toy. The fifty inch television, that will do just about everything except wash the dishes. The phone that will connect you, just that little bit better or faster than the last one did. The tables groaning with food. The idea that are somehow uncaring if you don’t get something for every person on your list. Read the George Monbiot article about Christmas present buying.

Meanwhile, climate scientists tell us that it is now or never to save our planet from disaster. Last Christmas, I talked about trying to have a low plastic Christmas. This year, I will try very hard to have a parsimonious Christmas, and I don’t mean that I will try not to spend money, I mean that I will try very hard to try not to spend too much of the planet.

So, firstly, I will try to make sure anything I get is wanted and needed, properly wanted and needed. Maybe this will mean fewer surprises, but so be it.

Secondly, I will try to buy pre-loved things. Books, kitchen stuff, even clothes. This might make my Christmas cheaper than some years, but there are plenty of local charities where I can put any surplus. Local food bank for instance.

Thirdly , I will try to shop local, both for the shop where I buy and for where any item has travelled from.

Fourthly, the low plastic theme still applies. Plastic hasn’t gone away. (It never does, that is the problem.)

Fifthly, I will try to spend my time freely, for my friends, family and neighbours. Time. This is most precious thing we can give. Rich and poor, our time ticks by just the same. It’s what parents want from children, and children need from parents, (even if they don’t know it.), and what our lonely neighbours might appreciate more than any other thing. And it’s carbon free!

Sixthly, I don’t need any smellies, I don’t need any slippers, mittens, gloves, scarves or woolly hat sets. Get me a bottle of (European) red from Aldi, it won’t be wasted, and I will enjoy it. Make me some scones. A CD that you know I will really enjoy, I am more than happy if it is second hand. Or get me nothing at all, and keep your money till Brexit hits. Best of all, come and help me do some of the things I never get done, and I will do the same for you. Happy Christmas, and a fruitful, active, hopeful, greener New Year.

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