Earth Day by the Numbers

This year, Earth Day, the celebration of the planet and environment we live in, falls on April 22nd. We should respect the environment for all of the other 364 days a year too, of course, but in honor of Earth’s special day, read on for some fun numerical facts.

2016 is the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and it’s celebrated in 192 countries.

4: pounds of trash the average American produces every day – that’s 1,600 pounds per person, per year. As a country, we also produce more than 30 million pounds of plastic annually. Although recycling has become more popular in the last few decades, less than 10% of it is recovered for recycling. We can do better! It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down, but the energy saved by recycling that one bottle can power a computer for 25 minutes. Little steps have an enormous impact.

70% of people now rely on reusable grocery bags instead of disposable plastic ones while shopping. 8 million metric tons – that’s about 17,363 pounds – of plastic ends up in the ocean each year.

Glass is a better option than plastic for many things, but it still takes 1 million years to break down a glass bottle, whereas the energy saved by recycling that bottle can power a lightbulb for 4 hours.

There are approximately 1.2 million homes utilizing solar power in the U.S.

In America alone, nearly 3,000 pounds of food go to waste every second. That’s nearly 50% of all the food in the country.

Since only 1% of the planet’s water is drinkable, it’s one of our most important resources – but it’s also one of the most regularly wasted. The average American uses an astonishing 100 gallons of water every day, which adds up to more than 100,000 gallons per year.

In honor of our beautiful planet, take some time this Earth Day to look into ways you can reduce your environmental impact, from cutting down on food and water waste to reducing the amount of trash and other packaging you produce. Take a walk or hop on a bike for a while instead of getting in the car, and spend a few minutes appreciating the environment.


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