The holidays mark days of family, friends, gift-giving and reflecting on all of the wonderful things we have in our lives. One of these things is an overabundance of food.

In 2016, over 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat either ham or turkey at Christmas. The average weight of turkeys purchased for the holidays is 16 pounds.  Boneless hams range from about 2.5 to 5 pounds and bone-in hams range from 7 to 15 pounds.  Not to mention all of the scraps and uneaten leftovers.

What happens to the leftovers?

Americans throw away roughly $165 billion in uneaten food every year, according to government data. Over $277 million of that waste will happen during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

How much more waste is produced during the holidays?

In the United States, we generate approximately 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, all of which goes straight into landfills across the nation.

This number could be drastically reduced if we all cut back even a little bit and didn’t overbuy during the holidays….or any day for that matter.  Consider trying new recipes and using leftovers in a creative way that your family will love.

In an atmosphere of overabundance in the United States, environmentally conscious heads should prevail so we can reduce the amount of wasted food.

For more information on waste and recycling visit