Thursday, December 29, 2005

Towards a Sustainable Way of Celebrating Christmas and New Year

In the judgment seat of the Lord we will be made accountable for our deeds here on Earth, including our behavior as stewards of this temple of the God. What will the Lord say about how we celebrate Christmas and the New Year?

I bet God wouldn’t be so happy about it—I mean the way we binge, waste fossil fuel through traffic congestion, produce tons of solid waste from gift wrappers, and generate tons of harmful smog and smoke as we shoot fireworks. But is there really a sustainable way to celebrate the holidays? The answer is yes.

1. We can reduce wastes by giving gifts minus the packaging or wrappers. That way we can also save money. The recipients will surely understand if we just explain the principle behind it.

2. Send “virtual” gifts, e-cards, and e-mails. Electronic cards are free. That way, you don’t have to spend money. I received a lot of e-cards since November and I’m happy about it. Some of us really don’t need stuff; only the idea that a friend thinks about us in this season of giving and cheer. During a friend’s birthday, I gave 300 pesos worth of text messaging load or credits by just texting him the call card number and the PIN code.

3. Use the internet to connect with friends. With the advent of broadband, we don’t need to drive to a friend’s or relative’s house. We can always do teleconference or e-chat. Or we can send a text message. The yahoo messenger is an excellent vehicle for this. No driving means less traffic congestion, less burning of fossil fuel, less emission of ozone-depleting substances.

4. Do car pooling. If you really have to go somewhere, do carpooling or use public transport. That way, you lessen gas consumption as well as traffic congestion.

5. Don’t shoot fireworks. Just bang pots and pans to welcome the New Year. Or shout if you will.

Happy New Year to All!

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