What would you do if you had 12 billion dollars? Would you spend it on paper and ribbon that you immediately threw away?
Of course not! What an absurd thing to do with such a vast amount of wealth. Yet in the US that is what we do every year for the holidays. According to a report from Sundale Research, people in the U.S. spent a total of $12.7 billion on wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bags in 2017. Almost all of it will end up in a landfill. Here are some things we could do with that money instead.
Double the EPA budget
It’s current budget is $8.2 billion.
Increase federal spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy
The United States budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy is a paltry $2 billion. Imagine the progress we could make with a $12 billion dollar budget instead.
Increase Bike Sharing across the US
Starting a bike share program requires substantial capital, typically about $4,000 to $5,000 per bike, which also covers the cost of docking stations and kiosks. $12 billion dollars could provide an extra 2.4 million bike shares throughout the US.
Wrapping paper is just one of many ways that gift giving is inefficient and wasteful. Join us in boycotting gifts this holiday season. Spend time making memories instead of waste.
Give the future, not presents.