SAN ANGELO, Texas — According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year so as you prepare to undeck your halls, properly dispose of everything from wrapping paper to the bows and here are some tips on what can be saved and reused.

The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage or about 1 million extra tons per week, as stated by Stanford University. Additional statistics regarding potential ways to reuse holiday waste include:

  • The 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon.
  • If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • The U.S.’s 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year could fill a football field 10 stories high. We’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper if we each sent one card less.

What else can be reused/reduced?

According to Can I Compost This, some wrapping paper may be able to be composted however it depends on the type of paper and what has been used to hold it together (tape, etc.) Decorative wrapping is typically glossy and dyed with colored inks which can be toxic in compost and makes it unrecyclable. Stanford suggests using colorful pages from magazines and newspapers or avoiding paper entirely with reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control suggests giving gifts that need zero packaging such as subscriptions and gift certificates as well as shopping locally for gifts with an environmental impact like a stainless steel water bottle, a reusable grocery bag, etc.

Consider whether you can reuse bows, ribbons, or other decorations such as garlands next year before throwing them away. In most cases, these items have seen very little use and are in near-perfect condition.

For more tips and to find out more about recycling in San Angelo, go here.