Bad Santa: Father Christmas Leaves Dirty Carbon Bootprint

Jolly Old St. Nick? Depends on who you’re asking.

Shhh! Santa Claus doesn't want you to know his dirty little secret: his operation isn't exactly ecologically friendly. (Photo: Digital Vision/Getty)
Sal holds a Political Science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

While millions of children around the world are waiting with bated breath for Christmas Eve, when Santa finally commences his gift-giving world tour, there is at least one Earthling not exactly looking forward to the red-faced fat man’s annual visit—Mother Nature.

During his 122-million-mile sprint across the globe, Santa Claus and his reindeer posse will release 69.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions into the cold December sky, or roughly the annual amount emitted by Qatar, according to an infographic released by green retailer Ethical Ocean.

Other eco-no-no’s from the man up north's operation:

- Toys, toys, toys! Kids’ love ’em, Santa’s elves love makin ’em, but Mother Nature sure could do without their carbon uppercut. The production, assembly, packaging, and disposal of all those Transformers, My Little Ponys, Ticke Me Elmos, and Easy Bake Ovens is responsible for 68.1 million metric tons of carbon. Uggh.

- It takes 900 to 750 grams of carbon emissions per kilogram of food to produce milk and cookies.

The colorful infographic isn’t all doom and gloom. It actually suggests a few green alternatives to the traditional meat, potatoes, and coal-for-the-bad-kids Christmas.

- An eco-Xmas game-changer: ditching the lumps of coal doled out to naughty kids in favor of renewable energy toys.

- Though Kris Kringle’s sleigh might run on Christmas cheer, his North Pole certainly does not. By going all in and switching to solar power, Santa’s operation can take advantage of the North Pole’s 24 hours of sunlight during the winter months.

Check out the infographic in full here.


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