23
Dez
2005

The Hidden Cost of Christmas: Consumption and destruction of the planet

by InfoNature.Org

Information & Education, Activism & Volunteering on: Nature, Human Rights, Animal Rights

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New report shows what our Christmas shopping is costing to the Earth

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has today released a report that measures the environmental cost of Australia's Christmas shopping. The report The Hidden Cost of Christmas: The environmental impact of Australian Christmas spending calculates the environmental impact of Australia's Christmas spending on books, confectionary, clothes, alcoholic beverages and electrical appliances.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
//www.acfonline.org.au/uploads/res_Xmascost.pdf

The research shows:

- Every dollar Australians spend on new clothes consumes 20 litres of water and requires 3.4 square metres of land. Last Christmas, Australians spent $1.5 billion on clothes, which required more than half a million hectares of land to produce.

- Approximately 42 gigalitres of water (or 42,000 Olympic sized swimming pools) were used in the production of our Christmas drinks last December. Most of this water was used growing barley for beer and grapes for wine.

- Before we even plugged in the DVD players and coffee makers we bought last Christmas, they had created 780,000 tonnes of greenhouse pollution. A third of this was due to fuel consumption by the manufacturers of the appliances; greenhouse pollution embodied in steel contributed to a quarter of the pollution.

- If you spend around $30 on chocolates and lollies this Christmas, you'll be consuming 20kg of natural materials (even if the box of chocolates weighs only 1 kilogram) and 940 litres of water.

ACF's Executive Director, Don Henry, asked shoppers to consider the environmental cost of their spending. "If your bank account is straining under the pressure of Christmas shopping, spare a thought for our environment. It's paying for our Christmas presents with water, land, air and resources. These costs are hidden in the products we buy."

"We can all tread more lightly on the earth this Christmas by eating, drinking and giving gifts in moderation, and by giving gifts with a low environmental cost, such as vouchers for services, tickets to entertainment, memberships to gyms, museums or sports clubs, and donations to charities," said Mr Henry.

Tips for treading lightly at Christmas time

- Don't over indulge - eat, drink and give gifts in moderation.

- Organise a Kris Kringle with family or friends.

- Wrap gifts in newspaper or re-used paper.

- Save money and the environment by spending the hours you usually spend shopping in the company of people you don't see enough.

- Give gifts with a low eco-impact: Vouchers for services: massages, facials, gardening, housecleaning; Tickets: movies, concerts, sports events, theatre; Memberships: gyms, charities, sports clubs, zoos, museums, galleries; Personal favour vouchers: 3 hours of childcare, 2 breakfasts in bed, a month of lawn mowing, 4 car washes; Gifts that give: charity donations, overseas aid project sponsorships and donations, memberships and subscriptions to environmental organisations; Organic food hampers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
//www.acfonline.org.au/uploads/res_Xmascost.pdf
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