Now that Advent has begun, it may be fruitful to consider the ecological impact of our Christmas shopping. This infographic (click to see at a more readable size or go here) lists twelve kinds of presents which each involve about 50kg of carbon dioxide emissions (or equivalent) in their production. Some may surprise you (for instance the ecological impacts of gold mining are shocking, and carbon is not the worst of it. I am seriously reconsidering whether gold rings are a wise symbol of fidelity). For reference, the average annual Australian, Canadian or US per capita footprint is something like 18-25 tonnes of carbon dioxide (or equivalent), depending how you calculate it. The UK average is approximately 8-14 tonnes. The global average is around 5 tonnes. To minimise very serious climate consequences (which mean social, economic and political consequences), we probably need to be more like 1-2 tonnes each, so a 50 kg gift would represent up to 1/20th of one's total annual carbon budget.
If you're looking for ways to cut down the stuff you give and receive this Christmas (while enhancing the spiritual, relational and celebratory tone of the season), you might like to check out some suggestions I made last year.