Facts on Holiday Waste
- From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons - it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (EPA and Use Less Stuff)
- In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. (Use Less Stuff)
- The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one less card, we'd save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. (Use Less Stuff) Consider sending an electronic card. The following are some examples of what is available on the internet:
- If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
- At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year - equating to over 100 pounds per person. (Use Less Stuff)
- Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products. (The Recycler's Handbook)
- Each year, 50 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S. (Cygnus Group). Of those, about 30 million go to the landfill. (Environmental News Network)
- The average American spends $800 on gifts over the holiday season.
- According to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending. (Center for a New American Dream)
- About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. (EPA)
- If each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon (about twenty miles), we'd reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons. (Use Less Stuff)