There are plenty of reasons to go green—landfill issues, greenhouse gases, concerns about air and water pollution, and damage to the ozone layer are just a few. Take a look at a few of the actual numbers and percentages below to get a feel for how even the smallest of changes can have a large impact on the environment.
- 1.5 acres: the amount of rainforest lost every second to land development and deforestation, with tremendous losses to habitat and biodiversity.
- 137: the number of plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That comes to about 50,000 species a year!
- 3 trillion: the number of gallons of water the U.S. would save each year if every household invested in water-saving appliances.
- 86.6 million tons: the amount of material prevented from going to landfill or incineration thanks to recycling and composting in 2012.
- 17 trees: Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 2 barrels of oil and 4100 kilowatt hours of energy – enough to power the average American home for six months.
- 113,204: the number, on average, of aluminum cans recycled each minute of each day.
- 95 percent: the amount of energy saved by using recycled aluminum scrap to make new aluminum cans.
- 1 pound per hour: the amount of carbon dioxide that is saved from entering the atmosphere for every kilowatt-hour of renewable energy produced.
- 35 percent: the amount of coal's energy that is actually converted to electricity in a coal-burning power plant. The other two-thirds is lost to heat.
Remember, change begins with you. “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” Robert Swan
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Sources: Consumer Reports, Environmental Health Perspectives, Raintree Nutrition,Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPA Water and EPA Recycling,Worldwatch Institute, Energy Information Administration, Ready, Set, Green, Earth911.org, The Telegraph, Yahoo! News, TreeHugger