By now, I hope you are all aware of just how important it is to make changes that lead to more sustainable living, and how even the smallest changes, made collectively can have a huge impact on the health of the planet and our personal wellbeing.
With this in mind, we’ve listed some eco-friendly stats that are more to help solidify the decisions and choices you’re likely trying to make in your life. It can be touch to change, so sometimes a few stats can give us a little helping hand.
Environmental health should be a major concern for every person, and every company, and every huge corporation in the world.
The scary realization of just how much we, as a society, waste and consume every single day is terrifying. Our bad habits that have been developed over centuries are finally coming back to bite us.
Of course, you will have heard about the effects of global warming, the scary bush fires, the disappearance of rainforests, the rising ocean levels, the melting of the ice caps, pollution clouds, animal extinction…the list truly goes on.
I mean, you can’t turn on the news or radio without hearing about the damage that has been done to our planet. So, why are things not changing? Or perhaps they are, just very slowly.
Or, maybe, the damage we have done is irreversible (now, that’s a scary thought)…
In this article, we are set to blow your mind with some facts about eco-friendly living that will have you changing your habits in a heartbeat.
We’ve got the good, the bad, and the downright terrifying here, so buckle up and prepare to have your mind blown with these eco-friendly stats.
- Due to climate change, summers are getting much longer. On the other hand, winter, fall, and spring are all getting shorter.
- The effects of climate change on species of animals have been dire. Over 1 million species are at risk of extinction.
- It is thought that around 390 billion tons of ice and snow melt from the glaciers each year. Where do they go? Into our ever-rising seas.
- It is thought that much of the harm caused by climate change will actually be irreversible by 2030. Terrifying, right?
- The overall average temperature of the earth has risen an astonishing 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the end of the 19th century. That may not seem like a lot but it is extreme.
- The sea level is thought to rise to 1.5 meters more before this century is out. This will have a severe impact on coastal towns, many of which could be lost.
- The majority of the increase in global temperature is determined to be thanks to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, farming, and getting rid of forests.
- Climate change causes extreme, freak weather events. In 2018, these weather events cost the US Government around $91 billion and killed nearly 250 people in America alone.
- It is thought that half of the amphibians we have on our planet could soon go extinct as a result of global warming and climate change in general.
- We currently have more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than in any other era. Human history has never seen levels so high and it is thought to be around 415.26 ppm.
They have not been this high since around 3 million years ago when sea levels were meters higher.
- The US produces the most trash per person per year than any other country. In fact, they are thought to produce 40% of the world’s waste. This means that a country that has only 5% of the whole world’s population contributes to nearly half of its waste.
- Around 7.2 million tons of food (more than half of which is edible) is thrown each year. This number increases as the population increases, too.
- It is thought that one in seven people do not have enough food to eat. That really makes the previous statistic shameful, doesn’t it?
- It is thought that the amount of plastic bottles bought per minute is around one million, on average. Worse still, most of these end up in the ocean!
- Before fruit and vegetables even hit our shelves, they go through inspections to see if they are ‘good enough’. This results in between 20% and 40% of it being put in the trash, all because it is lumpy, wonky, or otherwise looks unappealing (even though most of them will be fine to eat).
- Plastic shopping bags here in the US are such an unnecessary source of waste. You should take a leaf out of the UK’s books and switch to reusable. Recently, they started to charge 5p (this is around a few pennies in US dollars) for plastic bags, and their plastic bag waste decreased by 85%!
- Office workers, on average, use over 500 paper coffee cups each year!
- 2113 gallons of water go into making just one pair of jeans.
- It is thought that around $61 billion are spent each year on the purchase of bottled water in the US.
- If you leave your tap running when you are brushing your teeth (for around 2 minutes) this can waste nearly 4 gallons of water! Imagine that twice a day, for a family of four….
- Around a quarter of all the water you use in your home is actually used for flushing the toilet.
- Talking about flushing the toilet…old toilets can use up to 3 gallons of water per flush. On the other hand, newer models can use just 1 gallon of water per flush.
- Do you have a leaky faucet? Maybe you have a couple of them around your home? Well, did you know that one leaky faucet that drips every second can waste around 2700 gallons of water every year! Better get those faucets fixed!
- It is thought that we use around 127% more water today than the average person did in the 1950s.
- If you switch to an energy-smart washing machine you may be able to save more water in one year than most people drink in their whole life. Well worth the investment!
- A family of four can use upwards of 260 gallons of water every single year!
- The whole of humanity only has access to 0.5 percent of fresh drinking water.
Plastic pollution, air pollution, and toxic pollution
- By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!
- Around 80% of the items that are thrown away in America (most of which are plastic) can be recycled.
- Americans alone are thought to use over 2.5 million bottles made from plastic every 30 minutes.
- It can take thousands of years for a plastic bag to decompose.
- Toxic air pollution is linked to higher rates of cancer, respiratory diseases, strokes, and heart disease.
- It is thought that fine particle air pollution is 100-watt responsible for around 29000 early deaths every single year.
- 100 million (yes that is correct) mammals, and 1 million sea birds, die from pollution caused by human activity every single year.
- A staggering 1.2 trillion (again, this is not a misprint) gallons of toxic water waste, such as untreated sewage, stormwater, and even industrial waste gets dumped in US water every single year. No wonder all those animals are dying.
- It is thought that there are as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws just laying on the beach…and even more in the sea!
- It is thought that one recycled plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours.
…and now for the good news!
- Nearly half of Americans are feeling ready (finally) to make a change to their consumption habits for the better. They are acknowledging the issues faced in the environment.
- If we start our journey towards living sustainably, it is thought that around $26 trillion could be saved by the year 2030.
- Electric vehicles are now on the rise to try to combat the air pollution caused by gas cars.
- When a ton of paper gets recycled, there are 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, and 4100 KW of energy saved.
- When a ton of glass is recycled, you can expect 9 gallons of oil to be saved.
- The Iberian Lynx Cat which was once almost extinct has clawed its way back and we are finally seeing numbers rise again.
- Since 2000, forests, totaling the size of France, have been able to regrow across the world!
- Vietnam has pledged to plant 1 billion trees to avoid natural devastation in the future.
- Urban farms are becoming popular in cities around the world. Toronto, Canada’s most populous country is pioneering this, helping to provide food security and reduce carbon emissions in the busy city.
- Climate change rallies are becoming increasingly popular and attracting larger audiences each time!