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12 Interesting Facts About the Environment

March 31, 2014

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Pollution, manufacturing, waste, fracking and other environmental hazards have slowly endangered our planet. From global warming to the extinction of animal species, our planet has been under attack by the human race.  Here are 12 interesting facts about how we are negatively impacting the environment:

1. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a swirling vortex of waste and debris in the Pacific Ocean.  This area is twice the size of the continental US and is believed to hold almost 100 million tons of garbage. Oceana, an international organization focused on ocean conservation, has calculated that as much as 1.6 billion pounds of plastic ends up in the seas every year, posing a threat to marine life.

2. Frogs and other amphibians in the United States are disappearing so rapidly that they could vanish from half of their habitats in the next 20 years. According to Inhabitat, amphibians are known as bioindicators, meaning these animals are among the first to feel environmental stresses and can provide warning signs for the overall health of ecosystems. Bottom Line: What’s Bad for The Frog is Bad For The Rest of Us Too!

3. The average American, taking a 5 minute shower, uses more water than an average person in the slums of a developing country does in a whole day.  And with nearly 800 million people worldwide lacking access to safe drinking water, programs like World Water Day are vital to getting the world out about this important topic. Think about this statistic the next time you leave the water running while brushing your teeth!

4. Purchasing recycled paper can make a significant impact on our environment. Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%. Environmental Paper Network, 2007. State of the Paper Industry.

5. A typical business office will produce about 1.5 pounds of paper waste per employee each day. With all the office paper we waste every year we could build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California.   If the U.S could cut office paper use by just 10% it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases (the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road).

6. The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste. We toss out two billion plastic razors, a million and a half tons of paper towels, and 12 billion disposable diapers annually according to EarthEco International.

7. 60 billion tons of resources are now extracted annually—about 50% more than just 30 years ago. Between 1950 and 2005, worldwide metals production grew sixfold, oil consumption eightfold, and natural gas consumption 14-fold. Today the average European uses 43 kilograms of resources daily, and the average American uses 88 kilograms. Worldwatch Institute, 2010. State of the World 2010.

8. One in four mammals is at risk of extinction.  According to Solarworld,  78% of marine mammals are threatened by accidental deaths such as getting caught in fishing nets intended for other species or consuming trash in our oceans. Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals. 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags

9. Operating a commercial leaf blower for one half hour produces the hydrocarbon equivalent of driving a light duty vehicle at 30 mph for just over 2 round trips between Denver and New York City according to Salisbury University.

10. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline. Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates. There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.

11. Reusable shopping bags make a big impact. If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! So, be sure you keep those reusable bags in the car and ready for your next shopping trip.

12. According to Recycling Revolution,  approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.  If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.

 

ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:
On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2014 5:01 pm

    This is a great reminder list! Thanks for posting.

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