Facts To Build Our Awareness For A Sustainable Environment
Did You Know ?
- Each person throws away approximately 4.5 pounds of garbage every day
- The garbage in a desert landfill stays there for approximately 30 years
- 84 percent of all household waste can be recycled
- In 2006 approximately 500 billion (500,000,000,000) plastic bags were used worldwide.
- Plastic bags take 1,000 years to decompose
- Every year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags
- 70% of recycled bags in the United States are turned into fencing, railing, decking and outdoor furniture
- Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour
- Plastic bottles take 700 years before they begin to decompose in a landfill
- Eight out of 10 plastic water bottles become landfill waste, that amounts to approximately 38 billion a year
- Some of the states that have plastic bottle deposits recover 95% of the containers
- If every water bottle was recycled into a new bottle we would save over 1.5 million barrels of oil.
Energy / Glass
- More than 1/3 of all energy is used by people when they are at home
- The amount of glass bottles Americans throw away every two weeks could have filled both World Trade Center towers
- The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours
- We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year
- Daily we use…..
- 3 - 7 gallons of water for one toilet flush
- 9 - 12 gallons of water to run the dishwasher once
- 25 - 30 gallons to fill the bath tub once
- 25 - 40 gallons the run one load of cloths in the washing machine
- 50 - 70 gallons for a 10 minute shower,
- Earth is 2/3 water, but all the fresh water streams only represent one hundredth of one percent .01% or .0001
- If the 600 million vehicles on earth each burn an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day that equates to 1,200,000,000 gallons of gasoline a day.
- Each gallon of fuel releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. (1,200,000,000 gals x 20 lbs = 24 billion lbs of CO 2 released in the air every day)
- One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water.
- One standard public bus carries as many people as 40 single-occupancy cars!
- • The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
- • For every 2,000 pounds of newspaper (1 ton) recycled, we save 7,000 gallons of water from being contaminated by ink chemicals.
- • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees!
- • Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp.
- 5 billion aluminum cans are used each year.
- Aluminum cans stay in land fills for 500 years.
- It takes 90% less energy to recycle aluminum cans than to make new ones.
- Aluminum can be recycled over and over again without degrading it’s quality.
- 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.
- Sixty percent of the world's lead supply comes from recycled batteries.
Tips To Make Energy Day Earth Day
- Reduce your carbon footprint! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to avoid using your car.
- Change light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce energy bills and emissions from power plants.
- Buy or switch to energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Look for the Energy Star label.
- Renovating your home? You can build with designs and materials to conserve energy and save money in the long run.
- As you start your spring cleaning, do a home energy audit and switch to Energy Star products.
- Unplug your VCR or other electronics that use electricity even when "off."
- Maintain and repair products. Keep appliances in good working order. Follow manufacturers' suggestions for proper operation and maintenance.
- eCycle - take your old computers or other electronics to a local recycling center.
- Every plastic bottle can be recycled into a new plastic bottle. Recycle you plastic bottles at your local recycle center or with the trash pickup company.
- Recycle plastic bags with your local grocery store. Plastic bags are recycled to make outdoor lawn furniture and netting among other items.
- Paper recycles into paper. Glass recycles into glass. Take a look around, most everything we own can be recycled.
- You can reduce polluted storm water runoff -- simply pick up your pet’s waste; don't leave it to wash away after a rain.
- During hot weather, don't top off your gas tank. Even a small gas spill adds to air pollution and wastes fuel.
- Help reduce acid rain. Carpool, use public transportation, or better yet, walk or bicycle to work or school.
- To improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go easy on the brakes and gas pedal, avoid hard accelerations, reduce time spent idling and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight.
- Leave your car at home twice a week to cut greenhouse gas emissions over 1,500 pounds per year.
- Don’t idle! Turn off the engine when your car is parked to eliminate harmful pollution.
- Limit use of wood-burning fireplaces, especially on bad air quality days.
- Refuel after sunset. Filling up your gas tank after dark prevents gas fumes from reacting with sunlight to create ozone.
- Buy water-efficient fixtures and products. The WaterSense label helps shoppers identify water efficient products and programs.
- Fix that leak! Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water each year.
- Take a shower instead of a bath. A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons.
- The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime and you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, which equals to 240 gallons a month!
- The average washing machine uses 41 gallons of water per load. Buy a high-efficiency washing machine that uses less than 28 gallons of water per load. Wash only full-loads or use appropriate load size selection on the washing machine to save even more water.
- Run your dishwasher only when it's full; use the rinse-and-hold dishwasher feature until you're ready to run a full load.
- Consider using drip irrigation systems. The typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of
- their water outdoors for irrigation. Drip irrigation systems use between 20 to 50 percent less water than
- conventional in-ground sprinkler systems. They are also much more efficient than conventional sprinklers because no water is lost to wind, runoff, and evaporation. If your in-ground system uses 100,000 gallons annually, you could potentially save more than 200,000 gallons over the lifetime of drip irrigation should you choose to install it. That adds up to savings of at least $1,150!
- Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally.
- Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer - along with your money - washes away down the storm drains.
Air / Dust
- To prevent dust particles in the air, don't take short cuts across vacant lots.
- Fence off barren property or cover it with gravel, rock or desertfriendly landscaping.
- Ride ATV's and other off-road vehicles outside the valley's non-attainment area.
- Use a propane barbecue grill instead of a wood or charcoal-burning grill.
- It's easy to stay informed about our air quality, sign up for free EnviroFlash air quality notifications at www.enviroflash.org
Source : www.epa.gov/earthday