11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger

11 Best Holiday Movies (and Their Subtle Green Messages) : TreeHugger.\

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“I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas,” he repeats.

With “250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 lights” adorning the outside of their house, the Griswolds are an energy-conservation nightmare (especially since they’re decorating pre-LED).

After an unsuccessful attempt to steal joy from the Whos down in Whoville by taking everything from their toys to their roast beast, he sums up an anti-consumerism position in one succinct rhyme: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags…What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

Using paint cans, Matchbox cars, old mannequins, leftover tar, randomly-sized nails, a pile of feathers, and other items that most of us would consider junk, he saves the day without spending a cent.

The Polar Express may be a more kid-friendly ode to the benefits of public transportation, but we’ll always prefer the sweet story of Sandra Bullock as a sans family token-taker in Chicago, Peter Gallagher (and his eyebrows) as the rider she saves from the tracks, and Bill Pullman as the brother she was meant to be with.

It’s just not the holidays without plenty of travel — and in Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon try to make the most of those miles by getting as far from their families as possible.

But a canceled Caribbean flight leaves them stuck on the road for most of the holiday — and with the drama that ensues from a day with all four of their parents’ new families, they would have been better served by a staycation at their own home.

And while Scrooge is more concerned with his health and happiness than with the environment, the last-act epiphany that turns him into someone who cares about others is exactly the kind of wake-up call that inspires people to save the Earth for future generations.

Santa sends customers to other stores that have the gift they’re looking for (instead of working with from a “buy more” mentality), and his court case inspires the people in his life to realize that the “lovely intangibles” of the world — love, joy, peace — matter more than any wrapped gift.

Imagine the effect on this snowman-come-alive classic with a dramatic change in weather patterns: Either it would be too warm to make him in the first place, or too cold to stay outside long enough to play with him.

When Buddy the Elf travels from the pristine North Pole where he grew up to meet his real human family in New York City, he runs into plenty of not-so-green elements — cars, trash, consumerism.

But when Santa’s unable to finish delivering his presents on Christmas Eve, it’s because his sleigh runs on an entirely-renewable alternative energy: cheer. If only we could get our cars to run on song, too.

From Caribbean lionfish to Asian carp, invasive species can wreak havoc on their non-native ecosystems — much like the tiny Gremlins, who aren’t nearly as adorable when they’re fed after midnight.

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