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Call Me the Grinch, but Perhaps You Might Like a Link or Two…

Maybe I just really dislike Christmas lights, but what purpose do they serve? Those lights are a pain to put up not to mention an unnecessary expense when your probably going to need that savings. So, if you add tacky looking and additional burdens placed on the environment. It leaves one asking the question; why not just leave the lights down? Hopefully you havent bought and wont buy anymore this year because those decorative lights and their production are all kinds of bad news, they increase needless energy consumption. That energy consumption produces pollution and requires the use and therefore loss of non-renewable resources, at this point most of your electricity is probably coming from a coal fire power plant. The lights also contribute to light pollution, which can be harmfull to flora and fauna not to mention obscuring our view of the starry night. The lights also contribute to the degradation of society because the resources to make the materials that the lights will later be comprised of must be gathered, which uses fossil fuels and exploited people. Then the resources must be refined, creating more waste. Next the various parts must be assembled equating to more exploitation, and using more electricity, more fossil fuels, more water yes even water is wasted throughout this process, and on, and on until you hang the lights up and burn you a couple of calories you’ll put back on by the end of the day. There is also pollution created by the transportation of the lights especially when they are shipped from across the globe…

Still, you might be saying to yourself “who cares? its just a little extra waste“… Well folks, it all adds up. Why would you want to contribute to environmental degradation if you don’t have too? If we really want to save ourselves? because the planet will recover from anything we can do. We must change the way we think about everything, not just the big things. Every little bit counts, Its like the story of the hummingbird vs. the forest fire. All of the animals of the forest are standing around watching it burn but though the hummingbird  is small and can only carry one drop of water at a time it is at least trying to extinguish the flames, not just watching its home burn. Perhaps if all of the animals of the forest would find a way to pitch in, their cooperation could extinguish the fire.

The aggregate affect of everything that went into making the lights, getting them to your home, and the at home energy waste makes this a bigger problem than one might think at first glance. If you think I am taking this too seriously, I would argue that degrees of severity may vary greatly but the small things still matter. If we don’t take the little things at least a little seriously then we will never change our egocentric materialist mindset. If you want some real ‘light’ in your life turn to your family and friends or some free and merry activity of which I can think of many that involve no expense at all.

This is just my seasonal spin on the little things we should all be thinking about in our day to day lives. Though, I guess if you just must have them, then try and buy some solar powered LED strings that have been made as close to your home as possible and try to purchase them at a locally owned establishment. Just remember their production and transportation still contribute to our environmental problems, along with all the other goods that we buy everyday…

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi

All the little things count… please accept this drop of water, perhaps you may add it to your own and together we can fight a global fire.

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Ivan Oleander

Ivan Oleander

I was born accidentally in the fall of '84 to unwed parents. When I was ten months old, my mother and I were in a car accident -- I survived; her sister adopted me. When I was seven, my aunt married an abusive alcoholic who made our lives ... more interesting; the next year, my great grandfather (one of my favorite people) passed away; not long after, another one of my favorite people, my young granny, committed suicide, family and friends continued to pass on, more hilarity ensued. Today I am a full-time college student attending the University of Central Arkansas. I have spent a decent amount of time traveling the country (visited 37 out of 50 states so far) trying to get to know and understand its people. I have worked in restaurants, corn fields, apple orchards, greenhouses, candy factories.... I am currently fulfilling my dream by starting a non-profit. I love this country -- its wonderful and varied people. I know what the hard road looks like and how difficult it can to keep pushing on. I would like to think that I have gained a great deal of experience through the years, though they may be few in number, and I want to use that experience to help as many people as possible, all the while learning and experiencing as much as possible.