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Avoid extravagance, think environment during the holidays

By Peter Muiruri | Published Thu, December 22nd 2016 at 10:42, Updated December 22nd 2016 at 10:46 GMT +3

December holidays allows people to spend more than would normally do during the previous 11 months. Sadly, there is a lot of extravagance with some purchasing more than they would probably need.

Extra foods and gift wrappers end up choking the environment thus adding to the burden of a polluted earth. Lighting Christmas trees, hanging lights around the home uses more power than usual.

However, with some forethought, you can help conserve the environment during the holiday period by implementing some simple steps.

First, consider the impact that those nice gifts may have on the environment.

In today’s highly interconnected world, most of the gifts come from halfway around the world. The energy used in their transportation has a lot to do with an increase in greenhouse gases, the leading cause of global warming.

If one has to give a gift, could it be sourced from local fares where little energy is used in transportation? Better still, could we get into the practice of giving throughout the year rather than create a ‘gift overload’ by giving only in a particular period in the year?

Second, there is a tendency to give children toys that include batteries. According to, close to 40 per cent of all battery sales around the world occur during this period. They come in video games, toy cars and even dolls.

“Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually,” states the website. The site encourages parents to work on practical projects that help educate the children in life skills that they will need later in life.

Finally, engage in activities that enhance rather than deplete the environment.

Rather than stay at home and become a ‘consumer bunny’, it is better to walk about in the woods and perhaps plant a tree that will be of use in future. In whatever you do during the holidays, ensure that environment wins.