Apparently Gristers aren’t the only ones feeling discontent with America’s holiday traditions. Our campaign to “shift the gift” this season has taken on a life of its own on Twitter and attracted the attention of two national TV news programs — first 20/20 and now the Jane Velez-Mitchell show on HLN.
Grist Senior Editor Greg Hanscom, who is on a campaign to create the best Christmas ever for his wife and two young daughters — without buying them any presents — appeared with Velez-Mitchell yesterday on a spot called, “A happier, more memorable holiday?” Here it is:
The numbers in this spot merit a little, um, clarification. The EPA says Americans create 1 million tons of excess trash during the holidays — not 100 million, as Hanscom said. (Oops.) Still, that’s 2 billion pounds of additional garbage. Eep.
We’re not sure where Velez-Mitchell got “something like 40 percent of our overconsumption occurs between Thanksgiving and New Years.” The National Retail Federation reports that “for some retailers, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 20-40 percent of annual sales.”
How much of that is overconsumption vs. putting food on the table, we’d be hard pressed to tell you. But here’s a number we can stand behind: Add this spot to the 20/20 spot, and Hanscom has burned all but 14 of his allotted minutes of fame.
Want more? Try these:
- Nothing corporate: Holiday shopping outside the big-box store
One Grist writer has vowed to buy only from local shops and craftspeople this season. Her haul so far includes a set of coasters “up-cycled” from some old 45s and a couple of pairs of earrings made from “found objects.”
- This year, make it a DIY Christmas
Our “Greenie Pig” columnist is doing a gift exchange with her family this year to cut down on excess/ unwanted junk — and everything has to be homemade. (She’ll be giving home-made jam and a liquor called “cherry bounce” — recipe included in the story.)
- Enough with the Christmas cookies: Five unpredictable homemade food gifts
Gingerbread and sugar cookies too cliche? Our food editor dished up recipes for granola, flavored salt, pesto, and lemon curd.