The enviro-geeks at Ethical Ocean have delved into the serious issue of Santa’s carbon footprint.
Seen by millions as a jolly old soul, this bearer of gifts and muncher of cookies also has a dark side – a dark, polluting side that the environmental movement must address. For centuries we have allowed this to occur every single year but the toll now is too great. Just look at these troubling conclusions.
(To see the full-size info-graphic, click here, then click on the image to enlarge it)
According to the study, “In just one night, Santa releases almost 69.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions. That is roughly the amount of annual carbon emissions produced by the country of Qatar.”
Some disturbing details:
- A team of seven-foot tall tundra reindeer will emit 40,668 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide during their 122 million mile trip. Much like cattle, reindeer produce methane through normal animal digestive functions, which is 21 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide.
- The typical lump of coal found in a naughty child’s stocking weighs approximately six ounces. If 1/5 of all children in the world are on the naughty list, 75,000 tons of coal will be left in stockings. 37,111 tons equivalent of carbon dioxide was released in the mining of that coal in the form of methane gas. Another 194,591 metric tons will be emitted if they choose the burn the coal Christmas morning;
- The Christmas Eve tradition of leaving out milk and cookies comes at a cost to the environment. It takes 900 and 750 grams worth of carbon emissions per kilogram of food to produce milk and cookies, respectively;
- Toys are, by far, the top contributor of Santa’s carbon footprint. From the initial production and assembly to the packaging and eventual disposal, toys for good children will release 68.1 million metric tons of CO2.
Just think about this next time you wish for old St. Nick to drop off prezzies to you and all the other little kiddie-winkers out there. Your moment of Christmas joy comes at the expense of our environment, our future and the lives of our grandchildren!
Add that to the visions of sugar plums dancing in your head as you sleep Christmas Eve!