Kissing goodbye to the mistletoe
London - For those who enjoy taking advantage of the festive season for a little smooching, there’s worrying news.
According to conservationists, snatching a kiss under the mistletoe will be a thing of the past as the plant is set to be extinct on British shores within a couple of decades.
Mistletoe is a parasite that thrives on the branches of other trees and shrubs, and grows particularly keenly on apple trees.
However, British orchards have declined dramatically since the 1950s as intensive farming methods have taken over.
Across the country, 60 percent of orchards have disappeared - and mistletoe has declined with them. The tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe has its roots in ancient folklore. Thanks to the phallic shape of its leaf and white berries, it has long been connected with fertility.
As far back as the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote about mistletoe as a cure for impotent livestock.
Whatever the truth, there’s one message to keep in mind this Christmas: kiss me quick - while you can.
There’s nothing quite like a beautifully wrapped present, with patterned paper, ribbons, bows and gift tags shaped like Christmas trees. But it’s hardly environmentally friendly.
So this year, the British government is urging everyone to exercise restraint when it comes to wrapping habits.
Ministers have asked families to recycle more, after calculating that each year we send 226,800 miles of wrapping paper to landfill sites, or enough to tie around the world nine times. Also consigned to the bin are 25 million Christmas pudding boxes, ten million pieces of turkey packaging and 125,000 tons of plastic. Whitehall predicts the bill to dispose of this year’s packaging could reach £168-million.
So when you present your family with a pile of unwrapped offerings this Christmas, you can cite environmental reasons - rather than admit you were too busy to wrap them. - Daily Mail