It’s now December and we start to get in the Christmas mood. We all are already thinking about what present to buy for our beloved ones, what dress to buy for the party with the colleagues, what to cook for the family dinner.
Here is one different perspective towards this time of the year. Can you imagine the amount of waste a single household produces? It’s a lot. Really a LOT. In December it increases significantly – mostly food, all the shopping bags, packaging, gift cards, wrapping papers…
This is not a post to tell you not to celebrate, but to do it mindfully.
Here is some food for thought.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills (Source: EPA).
In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons (Source: Use Less Stuff).
An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Electronic holiday greeting cards, offered through a variety of websites, are a convenient, no-cost, waste-free alternative (Source: CalRecycle).
If we each sent one less card, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper (Source: Use Less Stuff). Here are ideas to recycle, buy recycled and reuse cards.
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 (Source: CalRecycle).
At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year – equating to over 100 pounds per person (Source: Use Less Stuff).
Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products (Source: The Recycler’s Handbook, 1990).
Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year (Source: EPA).
To help prevent waste from cutting down and disposing of live trees, you can buy a potted tree and plant it after the holidays.
The average American spends $800 on gifts over the holiday season (Source: American Research Group).
According to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending (Source: Center for a New American Dream).
About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run (Source: EPA).
If each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon (about twenty miles), we’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons (Source: Use Less Stuff).
We from MyEarthCap would like to be part of this different approach but also keep the Christmas spirit! This year we will make our own decoration from recyclables 🙂 Maybe you would like to join us? Send us your pictures with your creations to share on our page!