Christmas: A Consumer Culture Miracle

Christmas is right around the corner!


Or so the billions in advertising has convinced us to believe, anyway.

Now, I’m not here to tell you that the true purpose of Christmas has been buried beneath miles of discarded materials slowly decaying, or not, in an industrial dump in Ohio!

Well, for the record,

“Every year, Americans spend $100 billion discarding recyclable materials, including 59 billion pounds of paper, 63 billion pounds of plastic, and six billion pounds of aluminum. Instead of being recycled and reused, the waste is incinerated and stuck in landfills, polluting the air, water and earth.”

However true that may be…

No, I’m here to try something else (as if we could even wrap our minds around what 63 billion pounds of plastic means).

Instead of fighting culture — yes, my culture, a consumer addicted American culture — i’d rather redirect it.

Redirecting: in martial arts, refers to a defender channelling the energy of the attacker against them. Redirecting the opponent blocks the attack and conserves the defenders energy. For example.

So, this year, consider this my attempt to not confront my culture, but rather redirect it.


This holiday, why not redirect our inner consumer to a more pleasant, environmentally friendly company? They exist, believe me.

I’ll even categorize some for you.


  • SVILU: Luxury Women’s Fashion.
  • Conscious Collection with H&M.
  • MinaOlya: Flowing skirts and cut out jumpers!
  • EcoPlum: With every purchase, customers earn “EcoChipz,” which are redeemable for either rewards or a donation to environmental causes. Each product sold also carries a third-party green certification. In addition to selling sustainably sourced products, EcoPlum produces educational content, such as monthly columns by industry experts, local green business listings, recycling information, eco-tips, and book and video recommendations.

House Products:

  • Seventh Generation: Inspired by an Iroquois Law – “in our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Shop here for recyclable trash bags, eco-friendly disinfectants, surface cleaners, laundry detergent, and more!
  • Method: Want environmentally sound baby products, hand and body soaps, air fresheners, or sanitizers? Try them out.

Outdoor Equipment:

  • Patagonia: High-end outdoor equipment and clothing. 3/4 of their products are either organic, recycled, or otherwise environmentally friendly.


(Also, check out their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” Initiative)


  • New Belgium Brewing:  “It monitors and records all of its energy use, waste production and emissions and recycles, reuses or composts more than 75% of the waste it produces in manufacturing. It also makes bikes and a Prius available to employees to run local errands. One hundred percent employee owned, the company has more than 480 employees.”


Pet Toys:

  • West Paw Design: They make eco-friendly dog toys, mats and beds that are filled with fiber from recycled plastic bottles. They also use recycled paper and soy-based inks and encourage customers to send used products back for recycling.

Solar Panels: Why not go big this year?

  • Try Sungevity or Namaste Solar. Both can do home, business and government building installations and are top rated companies in their industry. Can’t go wrong, here.


Lo and behold, environmentally conscious companies exist! And in many industries! Who knew?

Best part is, there are many, many more companies out there that deserve your business more than others. For this Christmas, give ’em a whirl! Or, take your family out to an environmentally conscious restaurant!

Why not try something new? Could be fun 🙂

Put 5 more minutes into choosing where you get your products. Spend a couple extra bucks and feel good about your decision. I guarantee you will.


Your mother thanks you.

P.S. Though, it wouldn’t feel right finishing on such note, as I, deep down, must expose the reality of redirecting, at least to some degree. Redirecting your consumption won’t save the planet, only slow the process of its destruction. So please, consider how much you consume and work to reduce it. Perhaps, on a yearly basis and work to cut that in half. Reduce and reuse, not simply recycle. Try in 2016. Or, start today.


For More Eco-Friendly Companies:


About tkvogelsang

I'm a people person. I enjoy pointed conversation and mature debate. I admire the great thinkers: those who uplifted reason, scholar, and secondary opinion. I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but find i'm nothing like the people there. I'm liberal, but no Democrat; peaceful, but no pacifist; competitive, but no capitalist; ambitious, but no elitist; a "Buddhist Athiest" (someone who reads and strives to follow the Buddha's teachings, but avid skeptic) raised Christian; and many other dichotomies. In many ways, I'm surprised to be the product I am. I love the outdoors. I love gardening, admire sustainable creation and design, endorse creative thinking and problem solving, and strive to learn as much as I possibly can. I am in a constant search for more travel. Travel, to me, is of utmost importance. It opens the mind and heart. I have many mothers because of it. I have many families that have taken me in and treated me as their own child. It's experiences like these that are not discovered at home, and worth experiencing. Just do. Go. You'll like it.
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1 Response to Christmas: A Consumer Culture Miracle

  1. Cassie Bost says:

    Really nice take! Rather than just going ‘Christmas is about consuming and it’s WRONG YOU SHOULDN’T DO IT’ you’ve accepted the reality and are simply trying to gently nudge people towards the best of a bad decision! If they are going to buy stuff regardless then at least give them an option to buy stuff that isn’t quite so bad!


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