Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interesting, eye-opening facts about the environment

Human influenced facts 
    • If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year.
    • On the average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use over 200 million gallons of gasoline doing it.
    • Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.
    • Over 100 pesticide ingredients are suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.
    • Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
    • About 1% of U.S. landfill space is full of disposable diapers, which take 500 years to decompose.
    • Energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours, and is the equivalent to half a can of gasoline.
    • Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.
    • Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually -- consuming more than 850 million trees.
    • Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers.
    • By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.
    • Insulating your attic reduces the amount of energy loss in most houses by up to 20%.
    • Enough glass was thrown away in 1990 to fill the Twin Towers (1,350 feet high) of New York's World Trade Center every two weeks.
    • One ton of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
    • Many banks lent large sums of money to developing nations. In order to pay those debts plus interest many nations have turned to the mining of their natural resources as a source of financial aid.
    • Every day 40,000 children die from preventable diseases.
    • The public transportation that we have is a wreck. The U.S. continues to promote and invest in private car travel rather than public transportation.
    • The human population of the world is expected to be nearly tripled by the year 2100.
    • A three percent annual growth rate will result in the doubling of consumption and production of food and other products in 25 short years.  The amount of motor vehicles that are expected to be operated will increase 15 million a year until at least 2010.
    • The world's per capita grain production has been on the downfall since 1985 despite the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
    • Already a train system has been developed (back in 1987) which is based on magnetic levitation and causes minimal pollution. These versions of a train are already in use in several countries.
    • Fibre optics, made of glass, are being used to replace copper cables throughout the world.
    • The uncontrolled fishing that is allowed has reduced the amount of commercial species. Some species, up to one-tenth of their original population.
    • Every day 50 to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat and human influences destroy them.

Here are some interesting facts that might make your world spin!
Did you know?
  • The garbage in a landfill stays for a for about 30 years. 
  • In 1995 over 200 of the world landfills were full.
  • Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day.
  • One bus carries as many people as 40 cars!
  • More than 1/3 of all energy is used by people at home
  • Most families throw away about 88 pounds of plastic every year
  • We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year
  • 1/3 of all water is used to flush the toilet.
  • The 500 million automobiles on earth burn an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day.
  • Each gallon of fuel releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
  • Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced in the world each ear ends up in the ocean.
  • The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours
  • For every 2000 pounds of paper (1 ton) recycled, we save 7,000 gallons of water free from chemicals.
  • Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp, and can save many trees
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees

  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years
  • Earth is 2/3 water. but all the fresh water streams only represent one hundredth of one percent.
  • 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean every year
  • It takes 90% less energy to recycle aluminum cans than to make new ones
  • 5 billion aluminum cans are used each year
  • 84 percent of all household waste can be recycled.
  • Computers pose an environmental threat because much of the material that makes them up is hazardous. A typical monitor contains 4-5 pounds of lead.
  • Each year billions of used batteries are thrown away in the United States. This constitutes 88% of the mercury and 54% of the cadmium deposited into our landfills
  • Approximately only 10 percent of every landfill can be cleaned up.
  • Ivory comes from dead elephants, its best not to buy it.
  • Fur coats often come from endangered animals, it's best not to buy them.
  • One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water. so dispose of properly!
  • Here is an example of the water we use everyday:
      3-7 gallons for toilet, 25-30 gallons for tub,50-70 gallons for a 10 minute shower, 1 washing machine load uses 25-40 gallons, 1 dishwasher load uses 9-12 gallons
  • Here is an example of how long it takes some things take to break down:
    • plastics take 500 years, aluminum cans take 500 years, organic materials, take 6 months, cotton, rags, paper take 6 months.


Mayanne Atanacio said...

This is quite depressing and pessimistic but realistic! A lot of people are blind to the facts mentioned above and simply don't know they are harming the environment. We must be the change agents in today's society and protect this environment from further harm and you all are doing your part by being eco-friendly! Thank you for that! Spread the word :-)

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing these alarming statistics!
I had no idea that by recycling paper, we can save oil, or that 50-100 species are being wiped out EVERY DAY! I definitely am more aware of how detrimental our society can be towards our environment and it's pretty scary.
Like you mentioned above, the majority of us are oblivious to how our daily routines are harming the world we live in. I will definitely spread the word.

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