DEC 23, 2018 05:30 PM PST

Happy holidays?

It's great to get into the holiday spirit, but there's no way around it: some things about the holidays are just not healthy - for us or for the planet. 

Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year's, people in the US throw away 25% more trash than during the rest of the year? And in the UK, people use enough wrapping paper to go around the circumference of the Earth nine whole times! Not to mention all of the consumerism that the holidays bring - I mean, do the kids really need all those toys (or do you really need all those new sweaters?)?

But the holidays can be hard on our bodies as well as on the planet. Heart specialists call this happy time of year the Merry Christmas Coronary or Happy New Year Heart Attack because there are consistently one third more coronary deaths recorded in December and January than throughout the rest of the year. The reasons for these fatalities are likely related to unhealthy eating, excessive alcohol intake and high levels of stress. (Now, that doesn't sound like a family gathering at all, does it?) In fact, weight gain and DUIs also increase during the holly jolly season. High expectations to enjoy one's self as well as a heightened sense of loss from missing loved ones, not to mention the few hours of sunlight that the Northern hemisphere receives, can all put excessive pressure on the holiday season too, making it a somewhat stressful time. 

So, bottom line? Don't stress about the holidays - just remember it's all about spreading kindness and gratitude in whatever ways you can. 

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
Can We Terraform Mars?
Space agencies and commercial space companies are taking the idea of colonizing Mars very seriously. There’s just one problem: the red planet isn&rsq...
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is as Powerful as it is Captivating
Jupiter is the largest known planet in our solar system, but even that isn’t the gas giant’s most discernible feature – that title belong...
JAN 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 20, 2020
Anthills Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
At first glance, an anthill looks like a small pile of sand on the Earth with a tiny hole in the top that ants crawl into to evade danger, but they’r...
JAN 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 20, 2020
Here's How Reindeer Stay Warm in Freezing Temperatures
Reindeer are some of Winter’s most iconic animals, but have you ever wondered how these spectacular creatures are able to withstand such frigid tempe...
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
How Much Do You Know About Mars?
Humankind is getting closer to the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars for scientific research, and then eventually colonization later down the line. B...
JAN 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 20, 2020
The "Normal" Body Temperature Has Decreased
Did you know that the standard human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit was established in 1868? A few modern studies have called this figure into...
Loading Comments...