25 November 2004
Make love, not environmental war
The Green Party is reminding New Zealanders that it’s the thought that counts this Christmas.
Tomorrow, Green Party Christmas Issues spokesperson Mike Ward MP is launching a Waste-Free Christmas Campaign to
coincide with International Buy Nothing Day.
“If you fear the onslaught of the usual Christmas shopping hullabaloo then take the opportunity to do things a bit
differently this year,” Mike said. “Christmas should be fun, not stressful. It should be about sharing time and great
experiences with the people you care about.
“Christmas doesn’t need to be a time to spend vast sums of money that you don’t have or to get so stressed that you
don’t feel like spending time with your friends and family. Nor is it a time to create more waste through buying
unnecessary gifts that come over-wrapped and will be under-loved.”
International Buy Nothing Day was a good opportunity to contemplate how best to spend the silly season, he said.
“International Buy Nothing Day isn't about going without. It's about spending our money in ways that enhance our
community, so that it is more likely to find its way into the pockets of people we know and care about. It's about
buying the things we really need, unpackaged, and buying food that is fresh, local and in season.”
Mike is launching the Waste-Free Christmas campaign – which is geared around the idea of “buying local, little, wisely
and waste-free” – as part of his eighteen-day trike tour of the North Island. He has helped produce a Gift Guide and
waste leaflets with ideas on “how to show the ones you care about that you care about them without breaking the bank or
destroying the planet”.
The Gift Guide suggests useful stuff and acts as “a reminder that by thinking carefully about what we buy and from
where, and who made it, we just may help save the planet and make life more enjoyable for ourselves and our
The Guide has suggestions for: yummy stuff to fill your belly; “growing” stuff to feed the soil; “doing” stuff because
by doing we are creating and that requires things to create with; “big” stuff that is environmentally friendly, such as
a bike or solar water heater; “art” stuff because it provides us with pleasure and inspiration; and vouchers promising
special favours to indulge a fantasy or passion, to dance, to love, or to picnic in the park.