• Simcoe-Grey Greens

Week 34: Return to Sender

by Sherri Jackson & Laurel Hood 52 Weeks of Climate Action

We interrupt this program to bring you an important message. One of the biggest impacts you personally can have on climate change is to change your consumption habits. Whaaat? Stop buying things? Yes. That is correct. Stop buying things. But, it’s the middle of December! Now is not the time to stop buying! Yes, yes, it is the time, and it’s now or never. You don’t have to stop buying altogether, but you do have to cut down. Because, between you and your credit card, you know this can’t go on much longer. Canadians are heavily in debt, because somewhere along the line we bought into the idea that having stuff is the same as being happy. The more stuff, the happier, right? The more expensive that stuff, well, even happier. Right? Nope. But that’s what advertisers want you to believe. That if you just had their shiny new gadget to replace that other somewhat less shiny old gadget, you’d have it made. We also use stuff as a substitute for time together, and genuine caring. Feeling guilty about working too long at the office? Buy a gift. Feeling sad that you can’t be there on Christmas day? Send a super expensive toy to make up for it. But, as we all know, a gift isn’t the same thing as genuinely feeling someone truly loves you, and made the effort to spend time with you. This week we’re looking more deeply into consumerism and how it is wreaking havoc on our environment.

Challenge 34: Learn about consumerism & climate change.

Want to know how consumerism damages the planet? Here are a few videos for you. This one on The Problem with Consumerism. Did you know that the average carbon footprint expands by 650 kg in December? Yeah. And Americans spend 2.6 billion on Christmas wrapping (most of which isn’t recyclable). We have eyes bigger than our wallets. Consumerism is one of the four biggest contributors to climate change, and we are one of the biggest culprits. Yikes! Also, this one on tracking returns: Spoiler alert: most Amazon returns go to landfill. Yeah. You heard me. No wonder it’s so easy. So before you max out your credit cards, take some of our tips from last week, and reduce your consumption this holiday. These videos drive home the importance of putting our priorities in the proper order. By reducing your consumption, you’ll save money, and help the planet. Another win win challenge! In the end, to coin a phrase, it’s not what you bought someone, it’s what you gave them that matters. Yours in Sustainability, Sherri Jackson & Laurel Hood 52 Weeks of Climate Action was created by Sherri Jackson and Laurel Hood. Sherri is a writer, speaker and musician. She is the candidate of record and communications coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Laurel Hood, is a retired secondary teacher, transportation lead for the Collingwood Climate Action Team, and volunteer coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Visit our blog or sign up at www.52weeksofclimateaction.com.

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