Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some Shocking Environmental Facts

I was looking up some statistics to share with the Ecology Club at my school, and I found some really saddening and shocking realities of our society today.

1. One year's worth of the New York Times paper weighs 520 pounds. That really struck me, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it really shouldn't be that surprising. There are so many pages of ads and the classified section. Most people only get the newspaper to read the headlines or their favorite page anyways. I think we should all take advantage of the online New York Times.

2. 40% of the solid mass in landfills is made of paper and cardboard. Recycle, recycle!

3. The office paper we waste each year could build a wall from New York to California.

These above facts were found at Top Ten Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Office Paper Waste.

4. Four to five trillion plastic bags are made each year. Some reusable bags could cut this down...and some ideas here for reusing plastic bags...

5. Americans through away 100 billion of these bags each year, and only 1% are recycled. I know my local supermarket chains all have bins outside for plastic bag recycling, so check to see if your's does.

6. One billion seabirds and mammals die each year from ingesting plastic bags.

The above facts are credited to Say No the Plastic Bags.

These statistics seem so immense, and sometimes I feel a little helpless, like what can one person like me really do? But then I think, every time I recycle, every time I reduce or reuse, I am keeping that one piece of paper or waste away from a landfill - and that's my part. That's all I'm capable of controlling, but I can always hope to influence others to do their part too.

This image is from Knight Science Journalism Tracker.


Lida said...

Ugh, all the statistics DO make me feel terrible, especially when places that allegedly recycle just dump everything in the trash.
For art, we're working on sustainability projects, and I'm making a model city out of recycled things. I realize that doesn't really change anything, but at least I'm not throwing as much stuff out...
Thanks for commenting on my blog! I hope you keep reading!

Molly said...

Hey, that's a pretty cool art project. Even if it doesn't really actively do anything, it still creates awareness of the things we can do with recycled objects.