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December 20, 2018

What to buy the climate change denier in your life for Christmas: An illustrated guide

It's almost December 25 and while we've ALL been busy catching up with people we've not seen in a while, Anthony Nocera encountered one 'old friend' whom he wasn't prepared for.

  • Words & illustrations: Anthony Nocera

I’ve been doing a lot of catching up for Christmas lately. Seeing people I don’t like enough to see regularly throughout the year but am making time for. It’s Christmas, it’s what you do. But the other day, in the midst of catching up, I had a uniquely jarring experience.

I caught up with one of my best friends and she was telling me about how she has recently started using a Menstrual Cup and is loving it as an alternative to tampons and ANTHONY IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I feel better spiritually, emotionally. Environmentally. It’s so much better and there are so many benefits.

“Like what?” I asked, fighting the urge to ask how one feels environmentally better, where do I read that? I thought, Goop?

“Well, did you know that instead of washing everything down the drain when you take it out, you can dilute what you collect with some water and use it to fertilise your plants?”

“Really?” I asked, doing my best to sound supportive and not disgusted.

“Yeah. It’s not gross. I can tell by your face that you think it’s gross. But it’s no different to blood and bone. It’s just fertiliser.”

“Where did you even learn you could do that?”

Goop!” she said.

In the same day, I caught up with one of those people I don’t like enough to see consistently throughout the year, but the conversation was nice enough and I caught myself thinking why don’t we catch up more? We were talking about what we’d been up to and I said I saw a show about climate change the other week and they laughed and said, “as if you believe that shit!”


“It’s all a bit much.”

“What is? The theatre?”

“No, climate change! It’s all such an overreaction. All such bullshit.”

“oh,” I said, “cool!”

I changed the subject because on The List of Conversations I Want to Have, having a Christmas-time debate about climate change is right up there with fertilising my indoor plants with Uterine Blood and Bone and fucking myself with this (which I found on Goop).

But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since, not least because the universe lined those two people up. How, in a world as small as mine, could such fundamentally different people exist? But more importantly, what the fuck would I get them for Christmas? For my friend, something from Goop. But what about the climate sceptic? What do you get someone who actively wants to feel environmentally worse? I’ve been obsessing over it for days.

Thankfully, I don’t have to buy them a gift, but it crossed my mind that maybe you would buy someone like them something for Christmas and I’d hate my obsessing to go to waste. Here’s a gift guide for the worst person you know.

Multiple-use plastics that they can only use once

The fact that plastic takes hundreds of years to break down shouldn’t be a source of shame or concern, but a source of pride, a mark of human ingenuity. Our legacy. Buy them a stack of containers that they can throw away or burn. No one likes clutter.




A booklet listing brands that don’t manufacture their goods locally

This one will take a bit of work on your part… research. But it’s worth it, because it’s a gift that will last a life time. To shop ethically, locally and sustainably is expensive. You’ll have to go to a nice Foodland or something, which isn’t at all convenient. This list will be cherished for years to come. Laminate it, so it can last that little bit longer as the world burns.



A Beehive so they can kill a lot of bees simultaneously   

Bees are dying in record numbers, which would be disastrous. But have you ever been stung? Awful. The bees are smart, they are sneaky and they are lying. And they hurt. An environmentally unconscious person would take immense joy in farming bees, taking their honey and exterminating them en masse.





They’ll enjoy this. They just love coal so much. It’s clean, it’s green and it’s efficient. It’s also a great way for you to let out your inner witch and treat them like Santa or La Befana would a misbehaving child.





A map of creeks to dump their plastic bags in

People who don’t care about the environment don’t take canvas or jute bags to the shops. They buy plastic bags every. Single. Time. And they have a lot of them. Too many, in fact. Cupboards and closets full. Help them discretely get rid of them while doing as much damage as possible.

But, when in doubt, trust your instincts these holidays.

See as few people as possible.


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