The concentration of carbon in our atmosphere is at an all-time high. There has never been more plastic in our oceans and environments. And the destruction of nature and habitats in remote locations far away from us continues unabated, due to our insane appetite for consumption culminating in December each year. Research after research has, in fact, confirmed that none of this relentless over-consumption is making any of us happier, but is, in fact, having the opposite effect, linking to increasing rates of depression, lifestyle diseases and widening inequality.
The Christmas consumption nightmare
As many of us sit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (depending on how, and if, you celebrate Christmas where you are), we are surrounded by the mountain of wrapping paper and packaging from all the Christmas gifts, which seems to grow in quantity each year. This is despite many of us agreeing, that this year we were too extravagant, and that next year it will be different, only to go even more over the top the following year. Do we really consider the impacts of our habits? Do we, for instance, think about how much land and how many trees have to be felled to produce wrapping paper, or how much land is required to grow Christmas trees each year – land that could be used otherwise, for growing food, or for biodiversity efforts such as rewilding. Or indeed, do we consider what our insane appetite for packaging means for our environment or wildlife, and how many barrels of oil are required? Do we understand, that our collective appetite for even more meat at Christmas is responsible for more and more land clearing? The answer is no. I do not think we are even remotely considering these points at all.
Use capital wiser
This is not an argument against or for capitalism, but an argument for how to use our capital in a better way. The ironic thing is that there is more capital than ever before in our financial system, but instead of using it to fix the problem, we appear to be hell-bent on trying to exacerbate it.
It is not an argument either, that we should not buy gifts for each other. But what is the point in buying plastic objects that we can’t use for anything really but which seemed fun at the …