As it turns out, pretty much everyone who's ever wrapped a present probably owes Mama Earth an apology. One estimate has suggested we spend about $2.6 billion annually on wrapping paper, which is probably enough to make Jurassic Park a reality if we put our minds to it. A solid half of the 85 million tons of paper products Americans use in a year is solely for packaging. Wrapping paper and paper bags account for about four million tons of the trash we toss out, which is the approximate weight of several herds of apatosauruses.
"Litter doesn't count on your Naughty List rankings, honey. He's Santa, not the Lorax."
So yeah, four million tons of innocent wood gets transformed from its natural loggy state into garbage, with nary a step in between. Worse, you can't even try to make the wrapping paper useful. Want to burn it for warmth or maybe to roast a marshmallow over an open fire? Good luck, because most of today's paper is made in places like China, where magical ingredients like lead, plastic, chlorine, foil and synthetic inks -- which burn in delightfully carcinogenic colors -- are silently conspiring to limit the number of future birthday presents you'll be able to receive.