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The Holidays - The Most Wonderful (& Wasteful) Time of the Year!

By 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron | 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron | Dec. 13, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, full of decorating, giving, feasting, and good cheer; but, it occurs at a high cost, not only to our bank accounts but also to our environment by depleting our natural resources and filling our landfills.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans increase their solid waste by an estimated 25%. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and TakeCareofTexas.org, the extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about one million extra tons per week. 

Statistics from Stanford University show that 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. If every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials, it could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. 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 card less, we'd save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

As we enjoy this holiday season, we need to always be mindful of our impact on the environment. While celebrating and gift-giving, we must remember to look for ways to reduce waste, recycle and save energy.