Christmas Day Boxing Day Shopping Blowout Consumerism Run Amok

By B. McPherson
                                         Coca Cola Santa Helps Sell Goods at Christmas

Did you do your fair share of shopping this holiday season? Did you line up for bargains on Black Friday or rush to get the Boxing Day specials? Did you even line up on Christmas night so that you might be through the doors of the local electronic shop when it opened on the 26th? Well, merry Christmas.

The shopping frenzies that have been shown on the TV this season border on the obscene. Pepper spray, stabbings, pushing and shoving so that the latest or cheapest can be grabbed and hauled home to add to the rest of the electronic junk cluttering homes.

Stop this madness. Think about the reason for the holy day. Are you lemmings that you must run to spend money you might not have to drag home electronic toys that are obsolete a month after the wrappings come off? It’s not just electronic goods that people have dragged home during the past month – clothing, appliances, great quantities of alcohol, and massive amounts of “christmasy” decorations have been sold.

There has been a collective gaseous belch of consumerism this past month and it must be rethought if we are to survive as a civilized species. That collective belch has spewed out massive amount of carbon dioxide from the manufacturing and transport of those goods from the factories in Asia, to the stores and then home to you. Radioactive waste is a by-product of the mining of rare earth metals for electronics. Cobol needed in many electronics fuels the genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Much of the electricity used to light up those excessive seasonal lights is produced from coal which is one of the dirtiest fuels, to say nothing of the habitat destruction wreaked by mountain topping. Here in British Columbia we use hydro-electric power which has its own problems. Natural gas burns cleanly, but fracking used to get it pollutes aquifers and sour gas kills.

I’m no saint or hermit living in a cave, wearing thrown away feed sacks. I’m typing this on an electronic device. All of us use Earth’s resources. Some of us use more than others. But if we are to survive, we must become more mindful of our consumerism. Ask yourself what happens to food that we consume. Think of consuming goods in much the same way.

Humans are smart. A bleak future faces us if we don’t change from consumerism to conservation. We can do it one small step at a time. Don’t fall for the trap of buy, buy, buy, waste, waste, waste. Earth is a rare, nurturing planet. Let’s keep it that way.

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