不適當的聖誕禮物最後可能造成世界毀滅 | 環境資訊中心

不適當的聖誕禮物最後可能造成世界毀滅

2008年12月23日
摘譯自2008年12月21日Treehugger美國,紐約,布魯克林報導;游珮綺編譯;蔡麗伶審校

多而無用的聖誕禮物?圖片提供:ClintJCL記得當你還是個孩子的時候,你是不是沒有得到過你真正想要的聖誕禮物?然後你會哀嚎抱怨,就好像世界末日一樣?其實這最後證明了那些充滿鼻音的泣訴,不成熟的青春年少可能對我們往後的生活環境產生不良影響。每一年,這些糟糕透頂的聖誕禮物正一點一滴地毀滅這個地球。

聖誕節的浪費

你可以看到每年的聖誕節,或是我一向喜歡形容它是美國人的消費狂歡日,在我們這個偉大的國家裡每個居民用於購買聖誕禮物的平均花費約為800美元,這些禮物當中有多少會在歲末年終時最後是被丟進垃圾掩埋場?或是在一年或是更久的後代子孫能持續保存下來,直到外觀走樣?

根據一項研究顯示,有非常大量-約50%的聖誕禮物在一年內就會被丟進垃圾桶,並且造成好幾公噸的資源浪費。

另外,根據『回收工程』(Recycling Works)報告指出,我們同時也花費了約26億5千萬美元在購買聖誕卡片上面-數量足夠填滿一個10層大小的足球場。難道這些卡片是真的有需要嗎?這只是一大堆人工製作填滿情緒字句的厚紙卡,用20美元寄送給你的姪兒或表兄弟姊妹。

更糟的是,在假期間電池的銷售也增加約40%,其大部分是用來提供遙控汽車或其他遙控電子產品的電力需求,但這些產品往往都用不到一年。

重點是,每年我們都瘋狂的想要用可以想像的到的禮物來填充整個假期,因此我們最後購買的總是比我們需要的還要多;我們無法克制,因為它深植於我們的血液當中。我們給的總是過多,你買禮物給你的表弟並不是因為你認為他真正需要一個豪華的馬丁尼(Martini)旅行背袋組,而是因為你覺得如果沒有買這個或是其他一些什麼,會覺得不好意思。

因此,這些不被需要的禮物和包裝紙就因應而生,而且外面通常還會附上一張卡片,但是在未來一年的不同時間點終將會被丟進垃圾堆。

打擊消費主義的聖誕節

但是我們還是能保有希望:『根據新美國夢中心』(Center for the New American Dream)統計,有非常多,約70%的美國人希望能減少強調送禮的習性,問題是這種行為在我們的消費文化當中太根深蒂固了,要扭轉這個習慣需要很多範例佐證,或是至少要有一些不景氣等因素來改變人們的消費行為。

因此,我們應當盡其所能的去引導這個具毀滅性的趨勢轉向一個更加具有永續性發展的方向:也就是說我們可以多多利用電子卡片、使用更多的再生包裝材料,最重要的是有更多的心意。當然,這聽起來是有點癡人說夢,但是如果我們真的這麼想,並且事先徵詢願望清單,我們就可以找到真正符合期望的禮物,不會任其變成垃圾(首先,這裡就要告訴你有15種禮物是沒有人想要的)。如果你現在還是很困惑,真誠地建議你-可以用收禮人的名義樂捐給慈善機構。雖然你的表弟現在也許會有一些抱怨,但是比起你原本打算送給他那件俗不可耐的聖誕羊毛毛衣,他可能會比較喜歡你的善心樂捐。

Crappy Christmas Presents Are Literally Ruining the World
By Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York on 12.21.08

Remember when you were a kid, and you didn’t quite get exactly what you wanted for Christmas? And then you whined and complained like it was the end of the world? Well, it turns out that nasally-voiced, impossibly immature younger you might have been onto something. Every year, crappy Christmas presents are literally ruining the planet.

A Waste of Christmas

You see, every Christmas, or that ol’ American orgy of consumerism, as I like to call it, just about every resident of our great nation spends an average of $800 on Christmas presents. How many of those gifts are going to suck and end up in a landfill by the year’s end, after the year-or-so-long posterity period of keeping them for appearances is over? Plenty—around 50 percent of Christmas gifts hit the trash within a year, generating tons of waste, according to one study.

And then together, we buy 2.65 billion Christmas cards—enough to fill a 10 story football stadium, according toRecycling Works. Are all of those cards really necessary? That’s an awful lot of artificial Hallmark sentiment-laden cardboard with which to deliver 20 dollar bills to nephews and cousins.

To make matters worse, 40 percent of battery sales take place in the holiday season—many of which will power remote controlled cars and electronics that won’t last out the year.

The point is that every year, in our mad dash to sate the perceived gift-requirements of the holidays, we end up buying way more than we need to. We can’t help it—it’s in our blood. We’ve been reared on excess, and you buy your cousin that present not because you think he could really use a deluxe plastic travel Martini kit, but because you feel like if you don’t buy something, anything, you fail.

And thus, unwanted presents and the wrapping paper they came in and the cards taped to the outside of them end up as trash, at different intervals over the coming year.

Beating the Consumerist Christmas (W)Rap
But there’s hope: According to the Center for the New American Dream, a whopping 70% of Americans would welcome a decreased emphasis on gift giving. The problem is, the act is so wrapped up (pardon the pun) in our consumer culture that extricating the practice would take a massive paradigm shift. Or a few more near-Great Depressions, at least.

So let’s do what we can to start steering this destructive trend into a more sustainable direction: this means more e-cards, more recycled packaging, and most importantly, thoughtfulness. Yes, it sounds sappy, but if we really think, and consult wish lists, we can find gifts that’ll be kept out of the garbage. (For starters, here are 15 Gifts that nobody needs) And if you’re still at a loss, seriously—donate to a charity in the gift receiver’s name. Your cousin may moan now, but he’ll probably still like it better than that tacky wool Christmas sweater you were going to get him

※全文及圖片詳見:treehugger網站