!! The Earth has been around for 4.6 billion years. Scaling this time down to 46 years we have been around for 4 hours and our Industrial Revolution began just 1 minute ago. During this short time period we have ransacked the planet for ways to get fuels and raw materials, have been the cause of extinction of an unthinkable amount of plants and animals, and have multiplied our population to that of a plague.
!! Each person in a year generates 10 times their own weight in household rubbish, throwing away an estimated 90 drink cans, 107 bottles and jars, two trees’ worth of paper, 70 food cans and 45kg of plastic.
!! If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year
!! Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
!! About 1% of U.S. landfill space is full of disposable diapers, which take 500 years to decompose.
!! Energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours, and is the equivalent to half a can of gasoline.
!! Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.
!! Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually — consuming more than 850 million trees.
!! Enough glass was thrown away in 1990 to fill the Twin Towers (1,350 feet high) of New York’s World Trade Center every two weeks.
!! One ton of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
!! The U.S. is responsible for more green house gas pollution than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Japan and Asia — all put together.
!! In the absence of the greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average surface temperature of 14 ºC (57 ºF) would be about -18 ºC (-0.4 ºF) .
!! Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier.
!! On average, every second five people are born. The global population is doubling every 40 years.
!! Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
!! Methane is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2–about 25 times more heat absorptive, but is present in much smaller concentrations.
!! A molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2. Nitrous oxide is 300 times more powerful than CO2.
!! Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching-or die-off in response to stress–ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent.
!! The Increase in Population is as follows,
Neolithic Age to birth of Christ (10,000 years)
Birth of Christ to 1650 (1650 years)
1650 to 1850 (200 years)
1850 to 1925 (75 years)
1925 to 1962 (37 years)
1962 to 1975 (13 years)
1975 to 1987 (12 years)
1987 to 1999 (12 years)
1999 to 2007 (8 years)
!! On average a family of four throws away about two sacks of rubbish a week, most of which could be recycled. The figures below show the main constituents of household waste:
Paper and card 18%
Garden waste 21%
Kitchen waste 17%
Metal and white goods 8%
!! It is estimated that fossil fuels will last…
Oil – approximately 40 years,
Gas: approximately 60 years,
Coal: approximately 200 years
….. unless we find some more.