Quiz: Test Your Holiday Waste IQ

Quiz: Test Your Holiday Waste IQ

Michele Berger
Published: 11/22/2010

Photo: Xuaxo, Wikimedia Commons
Do you know how much Americans waste between Thanksgiving and New Years? Once you do, you may just be inspired to change your habits in holiday season 2010. The answers appear below the image of the gift.  
 
1. How many gallons of water could we save if American households each used 10 gallons less this Thanksgiving?
a. 10,000
b. 100,000
c. 1,000,000
d. 1,000,000,000
 
2. True or False: Americans generate 6,000,000 extra tons of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  
 
3. Forty percent of annual sales of which product occur during the holiday season?
a. Batteries
b. Wrapping paper
c. Hallmark cards
d. Tape
 
4. How many Christmas trees end up in landfills every year?  
a. 30,000,000
b. 50,000
c. 75,000,000,000
d. Too many to count
 
5. True or False: Christmas trees can be recycled once you no longer want to use them?
 

Photo: Marta Crowe, Wikimedia Commons

Answers

1. How many gallons of water could we save if American households each used 10 gallons less this Thanksgiving?

D, 1,000,000,000.
Running your tap continuously while preparing food or washing dishes wastes water and can use more than two gallons of water every minute your tap is running,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some tips from the EPA: Scrape dirty dishes rather than using water for the task, and if you’re dishwasher-less, soap up all your dishes, then rinse them at once. Click here for more suggestions. 
 
2. True or False: Americans generate 6,000,000 extra tons of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

True.
There’s more waste created during this five-week period than any other the entire year. Some of that includes the 2.6 billion cards we send annually, and the ribbon we use, which could wrap around the earth twice. (Source: The Use-Less-Stuff report.) 
 
3. Forty percent of annual sales of which product occur during the holiday season?

A, Batteries.
According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), 40 billion single-use batteries were sold in 2006 alone. Instead, why not use rechargeables?

4. How many Christmas trees end up in landfills every year?

A, 30,000,000.
But even with this number, the National Christmas Tree Association suggests that real tress are better for the environment than fake trees. Just remember to recycle it after the fact. See the answer to question 5 for more details.
 
 5. True or False: Christmas trees can be recycled once you no longer want to use them?

True.
There are 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs across the U.S., according to the National Christmas Tree Association. To find a recycling program near you, click here. If there’s not one near you, here’s some info on how to start one