How To Chat Climate Change Over Your Christmas Dinner

  • 9 months ago
  • 6 Minutes to Read

As things are beginning to wind down as the end of the year looms ever closer, we’re reflecting on what the Christmas break will look like. 

Is it just us, or has Christmas well and truly crept up on us this year? No Christmas parties or festive drinks has meant that the normal buzz and excitement has been missing this year. This year has been tough, so we can’t wait to wave goodbye to 2020 and take some much needed rest over the Christmas break.

We’re looking forward to spending time with our families, albeit in a slightly smaller ‘Christmas Bubble’, it’ll be a time to really connect with our loved ones. We know this year is going to look a little different to normal, but is it even Christmas if you don’t get into a deep family discussion over your nut roast? We don’t think so. Here at Enviral HQ, the climate crisis is a regular topic in our office chats, and the Christmas table will be no different. The festive season is usually a chance to connect to relatives you might not have seen in a while, or those who might not share your values, so why not talk about some impactful topics over your Christmas pud. 

Now, we don’t want this to get heavy, it’s Christmas after all so to help you tread lightly we’ve put together some thoughts to arm you for any questions that may come your way and ideas on how to weave the subject of the climate into conversation over the main meal of the season. 


Start With The Facts 

One way to get the families attention as you tuck into your first course is to start with some facts. Keep these short and snappy, you want these to be takeaways that family are likely to remember and reflect back on. People have different levels of knowledge on the climate crisis, perhaps your mum is a climate hero and up to date on the facts, so starting with some bitesize facts will help get the convo flowing. Take a look a at some of these:

‘The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.’

‘Global sea level rose about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and accelerating slightly every year.’

‘Every species worldwide is impacted by climate change. Rising temperatures and sea levels, less rain and more droughts. By 2100, an estimated 50% of all the world’s species could go extinct because of climate change.’

If you’d prefer to be a little more subtle and keep your facts a bit more related to the day, check out our previous blog ‘Our Top Tips For Reducing Your Impact This Christmas’. We especially like ‘a typical turkey roast with all the trimmings for a family of six emits as much carbon dioxide as driving 78.5 mile in an average UK petrol car’, – remember to do this sensitively though, unless you want the chef to come after you with a rolling pin.

Keep It Lighthearted

We know issues around the climate can be hard to swallow and the last thing you want to do is be the Scrooge of Christmas so make sure when you approach this subject you keep it light. Yes, state your facts, but make sure it’s not all doom and gloom, frame it positively. Go in armed with a head full of positive actions and takeaways that you can give to your family if they ask. Christmas is the time for cheer afterall, and 2020 has been hard enough! Explain to them how even the smallest of actions and changes in habit have the power to make huge impactful changes when we all work together as a collective and be super encouraging.


Know When To Retreat

As with all families there are bound to be disagreements and you may find yourself in the position of having a climate denier in your ranks. Now, as much as we want to encourage educating family members on the impacts of climate change, if you’ve followed some of the above tips and you still aren’t making any headway with a certain someone then consider retreating. We do not want to cause any family Christmas brawls! And you never know, perhaps in the morning when all parties are not a few mulled wines and a glass of Baileys deep you may have more luck.

The big thing to remember here is that this time is all about reconnecting with your loved ones. Taking the time to chat, slow down and just be together. There is a lot to be said for making that connection in person, so whatever you talk about, make it count. And if you get the chance to drop a few climate change nuggets of wisdom into the old Christmas festivities even better!


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