Friday, December 21, 2007


I currently live in London. This means that Advent is not always a time I enjoy. In London, Advent means sharing already cramped public transport with people carrying 10 big highstreet bags each. It means a much longer bus journey, as my bus home passes through Oxford Street and Regent Street. It means streets crowded with people, again all carrying far too many bags. It means longer queues in the supermarket, when all I wanted was some bread and milk.

We all know that Christmas has become commercialised. Christmas, and Advent, are times when people consume to excess in almost all areas: Food, drink, clothes, gadgets etc. These are the obvious things.

One thing we may be only partly aware of, though, is consuming of energy. We all probably have some kind of interesting lights around, be they on the tree, in the window or hanging over our retail centres and in our favourite shop windows. We might tend to travel more, both to go shopping and to visit family. We might send more post than we would the rest of the year, sending cards and presents, and ordering gifts from our favourite websites.

My small Christmas challenge to myself is to make sure I turn off my fibre-optic tree when I am not in the room, even though I have to contort my body into a strange shape to reach the plug socket. And, while I'm at it, I might as well turn all the other things off too...

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