Christmas is a season of retail – purchasing, giving, consuming and quite frankly – wasting. 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. Holy smokes – that is a lot of waste!
The statistics about just gift wrapping waste alone are frightening. Did you know that half of the paper America consumes in one year is used to wrap and decorate consumer products? Four million tons of this waste is attributed to wrapping paper, shopping and gift bags. According to the Stanford University Recycling Center, “if every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover nearly 50k football fields.” With our forests disappearing at an alarming rate, this is something major to be concerned about!
Other Holiday Waste Scary Stats:
- If every family reused just 2 ft. of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
- Each year, 50 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S. Of those, about 30 million go to the garbage landfill.
- The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year n the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high.
- According to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending (me included!!).
After reading these scary statistics about a season of hope & giving, I knew I personally had to my part. This Christmas, I wanted to change when it came to my gift giving habits. I have been guilty of going way overboard with the rolls of fancy wrapping paper and yards of ribbon in year past and knew this is an area where I could be paying more attention to. After some online research, I found a really great resource called Green Field Papers. They have a wonderful selection of recycled wrapping paper that is 100% recyclable, printed using soy inks and made in the U.S., along with great plantable gift tags. Sure, the paper may cost you a dollar or two more, but knowing the impact that this simple action made the decision to go green this Christmas an easy one!