Did You Know?

Content

Green Facts & Figures

  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25 million trees a year.
  • Using recycled paper for one print run of the Sunday edition of the New York Times would save approximately 75,000 trees.
  • If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
  • 99.5 percent of all fresh water on Earth is in icecaps and glaciers.
  • Each gallon of gas used by a car contributes about 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. For a single car driving 1,000 miles a month, that adds up to 120 tons of CO2 a year.
  • A single polystyrene (Styrofoam) cup contains one billion billion molecules of CFCs—that’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.
  • Once a CFC atom reaches the ozone layer, it can take over 100 years before it breaks up and becomes harmless.
  • About 110 million Americans live in areas with levels of air pollutants the federal government considers to be harmful.
  • Americans dump 16 tons of sewage into their waters–every minute of every day.
  • Although water covers two-thirds of the surface of the Earth, all the fresh water in lakes, streams, and rivers represents only one-hundredth of the Earth’s total water.
  • Each year, 1 million sea birds, 100,000 marine mammals, and 50,000 fur seals are killed as the result of eating or being strangled in plastic.
  • A plant called the rosy periwinkle, which grows in the rainforests of Madagascar, has been used to make a drug that can cure some kinds of cancer.
  • Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour.
  • Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars to fill a 2,700-foot highrise building every two weeks.
  • Americans throw away about 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year. Placed end to end, they would reach to the moon and back nearly 20 times.
  • Eighty-four percent of a typical household’s waste—including food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles—can be recycled.
  • Each year, 40 million acres of tropical rainforests—an area larger than the state of California—are destroyed through logging or burning.
  • Only 10 percent of the 35,000 pesticides introduced since 1945 have been tested for their effects on people.
  • It takes only one-twentieth as much raw materials to grow grains, fruits, and vegetables as it does to raise animals for meat.
  • The typical American home uses about 300 gallons of water a day.
  • A 1/32" leak in a faucet can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water a month, or 72,000 gallons a year.
  • America’s refrigerators use about 7 percent of the nation’s total electricity consumption—the output of about 25 large power plants.
  • By turning the heat down, Americans could save more than 500,000 barrels of oil each day—that’s over 21,000,000 gallons.
  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to two million gallons of fresh water.
  • Driving an average of 1,000 miles a month produces about 120 tons of carbon dioxide a year.
  • If all the cars on U.S. roads had properly inflated tires, it would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gasoline a year.