Happy Earth Day everyone!! Today we celebrate the wonder that is our planet, its biodiversity and its uniqueness. We owe everything to this planet we live on and I believe strongly in taking care of it so that it lasts for many more generations to come.
It saddens me when I see people taking advantage of our environment by littering, creating unnecessary waste and not recycling things that can easily be reused. The earth is not our waste dump. We share this place with millions of other creatures and we all need to work together to survive and thrive.
We can all make a difference in our everyday lives if we each try to add one thing that is good for the environment into our daily routine. Whether that is through recycling, composting, picking up trash, walking or biking instead of driving, bringing reusable bags to the grocery, minimizing food waste, shopping local, donating to environmental organizations or supporting green energy.
The key to all of this is awareness. Awareness that what we do everyday impacts the environment around us, from how long your commute is to work to what you throw into the waste bin when cooking dinner. Below are some facts for this Earth Day to help increase your awareness and appreciation for the wonderful world that we live in. Please share and spread the love!
- Since 1996, we’ve recycled and composted more than 2.6 trillion pounds of materials in the U.S. Today our recycling industry provides more than 476,000 jobs nationwide and generates more than $105 billion in economic activity.
- According to the EPA, the way we produce, transport, use and dispose of products and food generates 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. (See my post on food waste here!)
- If everyone in the U.S. recycled only their plastic water bottles for 1 year (all 42.6 billion of them), that would offset the greenhouse gases generated by 1,065,000 round-trips between London and New York in coach every year. (Better yet, buy a re-usable bottle and ditch the plastic!)
- The U.S. could create 1.1 million new jobs by recycling 75% of our discards.
- There are currently over 7 billion people on Earth, all of which rightly aspire to a comfortable standard of living. If every person on Earth consumed as much stuff as the average U.S. citizen, we would need the equivalent of more than 4 Earths to support us all.
- Scientists now claim that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70% mid-century if we are to avoid global warming’s worst impacts.
- In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.
- More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the U.S. each year, which comes out to about 848 pieces per household. The production, distribution and disposal of all that junk creates over 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, the equivalent emissions of more than 9.3 million cars.
- Making copy paper from 100% recycled content fiber instead of 100% virgin forest fibers reduces total energy consumption by 44%, net greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, particulate emissions by 41%, wastewater by 50%, solid waste by 49% and wood use by 100%.
- Half of the world’s tropical and temperate forests are now gone.
- 75% of marine fisheries are now overfished or fished to capacity.
- Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. have been tested for safety.
Become more aware and do your part today on Earth Day and every day. Together we can make a healthier, happier, safer environment for ourselves and future generations to come.
Peace, love and tree-hugging,