Santa: The World’s Worst Polluter?

By Jane | December 24, 2011

Right now I’m feeling guilty.

You see, I had to travel for the holidays. It’s amazing how much your carbon footprint grows when you’re on the move. For a start, there’s a lot of hand washing (germs abound in airports) which goes along with a lot of throwing away of paper towels. That’s nothing compared to the massive emissions from the flight. And worse still (in my mind at least), because of poor planning on my part, I had to eat at a fast food chain in the airport. A crime against nature, real food, and my stomach.

All this got me thinking about the man who does the most traveling at this time of year. Old Saint Nick. How does he deal with this annual econundrum?

Turns out, a lot of people out there in Internetland have been wondering the same thing.

Santa’s Carbon Footprint
First, there’s this by-now famous infographic by Ethical Ocean (partly pictured above).

It was even featured on CNN in an insightful and entertaining analysis by Questy.

Those two reports make Santa look a little evil when it comes to green living. But, it turns out, if you spin it right, Santa can also seem pretty green. Has he learned his green-washing tricks from BP?

Then again, if you get the wrong people on your side, you can come out looking terrible. According to this video, Santa emits close to 300 billion tons of CO2!

Wondering what your own Christmas carbon footprint is?
Start with this eco-analysis of common Christmas gifts. Then you can calculate your flight emissions. Finally, find out the carbon cost of your Christmas dinner in the UK or in the US.

Once you’ve done all that, enjoy your holiday. Then get yourself back here in the new year so we start greening ourselves up in 2012 together!

What are you wasting this holiday? What ways are you being green? Share below.

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