In my last post I made an allusion to priggish environmentalists. I love the environment as much as the next person and, in my limited way as a town dweller, do my bit — bike or walk rather than drive whenever possible, recycle everything, give a good proportion of my salary by monthly standing order to help various worthy causes, etc. I am driven a bit mad, however, by the kind of thing I read about in the Times today "Baubles are for birds if you are dreaming of a green Christmas."
I think of my 80-year-old father, living alone, when I read this advice: "For a really green Christmas the car should be left in the garage and “kith and kin” wished seasons greetings over the internet."
I think of the young children and their sense of wonder at the traditional Christmas scenes when I read this kind of thing: "
Campaigners want the fairies, stars, tinsel and baubles that usually adorn the tree to be replaced with edible decorations that can be given to the birds when Christmas is over."
And who thought up this gem? "Wrapping paper could, the guide suggests, be replaced with tin foil that can be used later in the kitchen, or with old newspapers, magazines or brown paper." What Scrooges.
Well the people concerned are called the Green Guide, and for £8.50 you can purchase their "Green Guide to Christmas", which according to their website contains the following suggestions for Christmas presents to give this year: "Take out a second mortgage – but for a family in the developing world. A whole new house costs £2,000 and your investment in their building societies will provide the working capital for a revolving fund. Or you could plant chilli hedges to protect villagers’ crops from marauding elephants. And why not give a voucher for an organic cookery weekend or a course on low impact living – or maybe splash out on an environmental research trip."
Who are the people who write this stuff? Nobody on a planet I know. I will not be sending my Dad an email to wish him happy Christmas this year, and I will be giving my children presents wrapped up in attractive paper rather than giving them a card each telling them that instead of a gift I have bought a watermill for a village somewhere. Sorry guys.