Is Santa Claus Green?
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by Ryan Meeks on 12/22/2011
'Tis the season to be jolly. And we're even jollier knowing that Santa is eco-friendly. Happy Holidays from everyone at Renewable Choice.
Since I’ve never met Father Christmas or audited his operations, I can only speculate as to whether or not he is “green”. Fortunately, as an employee at Renewable Choice, I have access to all the tools and resources that I need to conduct such a study. To answer the question “Is Santa Claus green?”, I looked at three specific indicators:
- Santa’s lifestyle
- Santa’s carbon footprint
- Santa’s opinion on fossil fuels
As we all know, Santa Clause is a jolly old elf whot lives at the North Pole. What we don’t know is why he is so jolly or why he lives at the North Pole.
Numerous studies like the No Impact Project have indicated that people who live a more sustainable lifestyle live a happier life. Knowing that Santa Clause is perhaps the jolliest man on Earth, we can assume he is, in part, living a “green” lifestyle.
Most climate scientists study the North Pole where evidence of climate change is most prevalent. According to NASA, the arctic sea ice minimum is down 11.5% per decade and the sea level is rising by 3.27 mm per year. Knowing that Santa Claus has lived over five centuries in the North Pole, we know he’s seen changes like the sea ice concentration image depicted below. Having seen these changes first hand, Santa must believe in climate change.
Santa’s Carbon Footprint
Using Renewable Choice’s Mosaic carbon accounting software, I calculated Santa’s mobile emissions to be 0.0 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Normally, long airline flights over 700 miles emit just over 185 kilograms of CO2e. However, with Santa’s nine reindeer pulling his sleigh there are no emissions! By using Mosaic, we know Santa supports low impact and sustainable solutions for his logistic operations.
Santa’s Opinion on Fossil Fuels
Finally, we get to Santa’s opinion on fossil fuels. We know that Santa has a nice list and a naughty list. Those on the nice list get presents and those on the naughty list get coal. Right there, we know Santa’s feelings about coal. If Santa felt that coal was a clean resource, there’s no way he would give it to those who made the naughty list. Since combusting coal to generate electricity is a dirty and unsustainable practice that pollutes the air we breathe, coal is clearly naughty. Additionally, there have been reports that Santa has supported renewable energy by stuffing “Green Your Phone” cards into the Christmas stockings of those who made the “nice” list.
In conclusion, my study has revealed yet one more reason why we all love Santa Claus – he’s green!
For ideas on how to “green” your holidays and follow Santa’s lead, read our whitepaper: Tips for a More Sustainable Holiday Season.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Renewable Choice!
Ryan Meeks is Sustainability Analyst for Renewable Choice.