Friday, May 1, 2009

Earth Day 2009

I know I'm a little late with the Earth Day posting. It was April 22nd, but better late than never. Here are a few facts that may interest you:
  • 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 year 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.

SOME REALLY COOL TOOLS for more fast facts:

  • Envirofacts Warehouse provides users with direct access to environmental information contained in various EPA databases including hazardous waste, Superfund information, toxic releases, facility information, risk management plans, grants/funding, water permits, and drinking water contaminant occurrence.
  • Enviromapper allows users to map various types of environmental information including hazardous waste, water discharge permits, toxic and air releases, watersheds, and Superfund sites. Enviromapper can also be used to spatially view environmental statistics, profiles, and trends.
  • Environmental Benefits Calculator
    NERC's Environmental Benefits Calculator is the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive tool of its kind in the United States. It is usable by any state, region, county, town, institution, school and business in the United States. Among the Calculator’s unique features are the environmental benefits of computer recycling and reuse calculator, an energy savings comparison chart, and an emissions savings comparison chart.
Hope this helped to open everyone's eyes a little... I know it helped me!

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