It’s the holiday giving season.
Did you know that household waste in the U.S. increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? The EPA estimates that the U.S. produced 11.9 million tons of plastic packaging, and over 90% of it went to a landfill after just one use. In fact, the 2.65 billion holiday cards sold each year could fill a football field 10 stories high.
It’s time to make a change.
There are many small things you can do this year to help curb those statistics (like going #PlasticFreeWithLMC), and every little bit counts.
As a part of the conversation, we encourage everyone to apply LMC’s “Responsible Gift Giving Test” when considering their gift choices for the holiday season. This personal, mental test is meant to encourage a “think twice” approach to holiday gift giving, remembering to keep the environment on the “nice” list along with friends and family.
Take the Responsible Gift Giving Test by asking yourself the following:
- Is it needed? We can sometimes get carried away during the holidays in the rush of the season and over-purchase, spending extra money and creating unnecessary waste.
If yes: ‘Tis the season! Continue to question #2.
If no: Reconsider the purchase and wait for something more meaningful to come along. A temporary laugh or moment for a loved one could turn into decades of decomposition if it is thrown away.
- Is it waste-free? Some products are more sustainable than others, so examine your potential buy.
If yes: Great! This is a responsible gift. Package-free, reusable items or the gift of an experience puts you at the top of our nice list!
If no: If your gift comes with waste, such as single-use packaging, consider swapping the idea for an experience or package-free product. If this is not an option, continue to question #3.
- Can it be reused? Single-use products provide temporary convenience but, in most cases, overfill our landfills and are not biodegradable.
If yes: Awesome! Reusable items can save thousands of single-use alternatives, such as grocery bags, plastic cutlery or straws. This is a good gift option.
If no: Items you only use once can create an avoidable excess in waste over the holidays. Did you know? An average American household increases its waste output by 25% during the months of November and December. Only 9% of recycled items get recovered at a recycling facility, and most single-use items are not recyclable at standard waste processing facilities. Reconsider looking for a reusable alternative!
- Can it be recycled? If you must opt for a single-use product, check to ensure it won’t stay on earth longer than the next 300 holiday seasons.
If yes: While this may not be the best environmentally friendly gift option, you can offset your impact and stay on the nice list by purchasing a product that has a chance of recovery or that will be 100% biodegrade*.
If no: A non-recyclable, non-biodegradable product is guaranteed to end up in a landfill once your gift has run its short-lived course. You can do your part in minimizing our landfill input and impact on our planet and become part of the solution by not adding to the pollution.
* Some “biodegradable” products are labeled as such, but it takes relatively unnatural conditions and, in many cases, a long time for the product to breakdown.