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Green Facts

Green Facts

Some-Fun-Green-Facts-to-Show-and-Tell_large

*Insulating your attic reduces the amount of energy loss in most houses by up to 20%.

*Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers.

*Americans use 50 million tons of paper annually — consuming more than 850 million trees.

*Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces related air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 50%.

*About 1% of U.S. landfill space is full of disposable diapers, which take 500 years to decompose.

*Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.

*Over 100 pesticide ingredients are suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.

*Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.

*On the average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use over 200 million gallons of gasoline doing it.

*If just 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year.

*The year 2007 tied with 1998 as the second warmest year on record, with an average global temperature of 14.57 degrees Celsius, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

*In 2007, carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion worldwide reached an estimated 8.2 billion tons, which was 2.8 percent more than in 2006—and 22 percent above the total in 2000.

*In 2007, there were 874 weather-related disas­ters worldwide, a 13-percent increase over 2006 and the highest number since the systematic recording of natural perils began in 1974.

*About one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs have already been lost or severely damaged, while another 35 percent could be lost within 10–40 years, according to the latest review by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

*The areas of the world that are officially protected—national parks and the like—grew by some 26 percent between 1997 and 2007, roughly one third as fast as during the preceding 10 years, when the rate topped 75 percent.

*In 2008, some 750 natural disasters occurred worldwide, down from 960 in 2007, a drop of 22 percent.

*Water scarcity grows in urgency in many regions as population growth, climate change, pollution, lack of investment, and management failures restrict the amount of water available relative to demand.

*Global temperature dropped slightly in 2008, but two other climate indicators—emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and its concentration in Earth’s atmosphere—continued their worrisome upward trends.

*Nearly 200 billion liters of bottled water were consumed worldwide in 2008.

*In 2009, some 860 natural catastrophes occurred worldwide.

*Species classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “threatened” increased by 2.1 percent in 2009, as 365 species were added to the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species.

*The average sea level around the world has risen a total of 222 millimeters (mm) since 1875, which means an annual rate of 1.7 mm.

* Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.

*Approximately 100 billion of the 380 billion are plastic shopping bags.

*An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.

*Only 1 to 2% of plastic bags in the USA end up getting recycled.

*Thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution.

*The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.

*Plastic bags are often mistakenly ingested by animals, clogging their intestines which results in death by starvation. Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can’t fly as a result.

*Even when they photo-degrade in landfill, the plastic from single-use bags never goes away, and toxic particles can enter the food chain when they are ingested by unsuspecting animals.

*Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90% of that debris is plastic.

*Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down every year for paper bag production.

*Most of the pulp used for paper shopping bags is virgin pulp, as it is considered stronger.

*Paper production requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water as well as toxic chemicals like sulphurous acid, which can lead to acid rain and water pollution.

*Continental and global temperatures modeled with and without human influence show the impact of human activity on global warming.

*As far as scientists are concerned, it’s case closed: human activity is causing the Earth to get warmer, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels, with a smaller contribution from deforestation. All other scientific explanations for why the Earth is getting warmer have been eliminated.

*We also know the additional CO2 in the atmosphere comes mainly from coal and oil, because the chemical composition of the CO2 contains a unique “fingerprint.”

*Though natural amounts of CO2 have varied from 180 to 300 parts per million (ppm), today’s CO2 levels are around 380 ppm. That’s 25% more than the highest natural levels over the past 800,000 years. Increased CO2 levels have contributed to periods of higher average temperatures throughout that long record. (Boden, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center)

*The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in measurable history, and predicted to increase dramatically this century.

*That leaves the greenhouse effect as the only remaining scientific explanation for the rise in global temperatures in recent decades. We have direct measurements of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere going back more than 50 years, and indirect measurements (from ice cores) going back hundreds of thousands of years. These measurements confirm that concentrations are rising rapidly.

*As for human land use changes (primarily forest clearing for agriculture), they have on balance brightened the planet since 1750. This would have a cooling effect, yet we’ve seen warming. Changes in the frequency of volcanic eruptions, which can send reflective particles up into the stratosphere, also cannot explain the observed warming trend. So reflectivity is not causing global warming.

*Calculations suggest that human-produced particulate pollution, especially reflective sulfur-containing particles, have had a cooling effect on the climate, masking some of the warming effect of greenhouse gases. In fact, the slight decrease in global temperature between 1945 and 1975 was likely caused by a combination of rising particulate pollution and natural factors. Warming resumed after 1975 when industrialized countries began to clean up their particulate pollution while continuing to increase their greenhouse gas emissions

*Around 30% of the sun’s energy that reaches the Earth is reflected back into space. Changes in how much sunlight is absorbed, and how much is reflected, can affect global temperatures. Using satellite and land-based observations and computer models, scientists have calculated how Earth’s reflectivity has changed over time.

*A study of more recent solar activity has demonstrated that since about 1985 the sun has changed in ways that, if anything, should have cooled the planet—even as global temperatures have been rising. So the sun is not causing global warming

*Ultimately, the climate system is powered by the sun: all else being equal, if you turn up the sun, you’ll warm up the Earth. According to IPCC estimates, the sun has accounted for just a small portion of warming since 1750.

*To determine what is causing today’s rapid global warming, scientists have examined all the factors that can affect the Earth’s temperature. There are essentially three factors that could be responsible for recent rapid global warming: the sun, greenhouse gases or the Earths reflectivity.

*Savante Arrhenius speculated that continued burning of coal and oil would increase concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, making the planet warmer. It’s called the “greenhouse effect.”

*The theory of global warming is nothing new. The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Svante Arrhenius first proposed the idea of global warming in 1896. Carbon dioxide, he knew, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. He also knew that burning coal and oil releases carbon dioxide (CO2).

*More than 700 U.S. cities—most of them in the Northeast, Northwest and Great Lakes area—have sewer systems that regularly overflow into water supplies during heavy rainstorms.

*More than half of all waterborne diseases in the U.S. occur after major rainfall events, which can cause sewer systems to overflow contaminating drinking water. Global warming is already increasing the frequency of torrential downpours in many parts of the world.

*Higher levels of carbon dioxide favor the growth of ragweed and other pollen producers over other plants, which can aggravate allergies.

*Smog triggers asthma attacks and worsens other breathing problems. The number of Americans with asthma has more than doubled over the past two decades to 20 million. Continued warming will only worsen the problem.

*More hot days mean ripe conditions for ground-level ozone, or smog, which forms when pollutants from tailpipes and smokestacks mix in sunny, stagnant conditions. Higher temperatures cause higher emissions of one type of pollutant, namely hydrocarbons and other volatile organic compounds, as well as speeding up the chemical reactions that form ozone smog.

*In Mexico, dengue fever has spread above its former elevation limit of 3,300 feet above sea level to as high as 5,600 feet.

*Diseases such as malaria and dengue fever could become more difficult to control in areas where it’s currently too cold for them to spread year-round. The malaria parasite itself is generally limited to certain areas by cooler winter temperatures since it is not able to grow below 16°C. As temperatures rise, diseases can grow and disease vectors (the carriers that transmit disease, such as mosquitoes) will mature more rapidly and have longer active seasons.

*In 1995, Chicago suffered a heat wave that killed more than 700 people. Chicagoans could experience that kind of relentless heat up to three times a year by 2100.

*Europe was scorched by heat waves in the summer of 2003, the hottest in at least 500 years, claiming tens of thousands of lives.

*Recent studies show extreme heat events that now occur once every 20 years will occur about every other year in much of the country, if current trends continue.

*The World Health Organization believes that even the modest increases in average temperature that have occurred since the 1970s are responsible for at least 150,000 extra deaths a year—a figure that will double by 2030, according to WHO’s conservative estimate.

*A warming planet threatens people worldwide, causing deaths, spreading insect-borne diseases and exacerbating respiratory illnesses. Extreme weather will also put more people in harm’s way.

*A 5-foot sea-level rise would submerge 16% of land area in Bangladesh, displacing at least 17 million people. Very large populations in Indonesia and Malaysia are similarly threatened.

*The U.S. Geological Survey, EPA and NOAA issued a joint report in 2009 warning that most mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands from New York to North Carolina will be lost with a sea level rise of 3 feet or more. North Carolina’s barrier islands would be significantly breached and flooding would destroy the Florida Everglades.

*In the U.S., roughly 100 million people live in coastal areas within 3 feet of mean sea level. Low-lying cities such as Boston, Miami and New York are vulnerable.

*During the 20th century, sea level rose an average of 7 inches after 2,000 years of relatively little change. The 2007 IPCC report conservatively predicts that sea levels could rise 10 to 23 inches by 2100 if current warming patterns continue.

*Glacier-less National Park? Glacier National Park now has only 25 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. At the current rate of retreat, all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030, according to scientists.

*In the Andes and the Himalayas, the melting of high-altitude glaciers could trigger devastating water shortages.

*A 2005 survey of 442 glaciers from the World Glacier Monitoring Service found that 90% of the world’s glaciers are shrinking as the planet warms.

*The three lowest minimum extents of Arctic sea ice were reached in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

*The 2002 breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula was a watershed event. The disintegration of the Rhode Island-sized ice shelf—believed to have existed for 400 years—happened in just 35 days.

*Rising seas are one of the most certain effects of global warming as warming ocean waters expand and melting glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets add more water to the oceans. The IPCC estimates that melting ice caps and glaciers—which are some of our most visible indicators of climate change—accounted for about 25% of sea level rise from 1993 to 2003.

*Satellite images show that the extent of Arctic summer sea ice has decreased by roughly 34% since 1979. The Arctic summer could be ice-free by mid-century, according to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

*Low-lying coastal cities like Miami, Charleston (S.C.) and Wilmington (N.C.) are at serious risk from Category 3-5 storms.

*The prospect of fiercer storms coupled with development in risky coastal areas is wreaking havoc on the insurance industry, with homeowners already seeing spikes in premiums.

*As the oceans warm, scientists predict that the frequency of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes could increase dramatically

*In Africa alone, the IPCC projects that between 75 and 250 million people will be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.

*There have been increased periods of drought, particularly in famine-stricken areas of Africa and Asia. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the percentage of Earth’s surface suffering drought has more than doubled since the 1970s.

*In Iowa residents endured a devastating “100-year flood” in 1993, and then were struck by a “500-year” flood in June 2008.

*The 2007 IPCC report concludes that intense rain events have increased in frequency during the last 50 years and that human-induced global warming has been a factor.

*In fall 2007, wildfires in Southern California destroyed 1,500 homes and displaced more than 900,000 people.

*In 2006, the wildland fire season set new records for the number of fires (96,385) and the acres burned (nearly 10 million) in the U.S.

*Hot, dry conditions create a tinderbox ideal for wildfires. This could have a devastating impact on America’s West.

*It’s not just the heat that poses threats. Scientists say global warming is speeding up the cycling of water between the ocean, atmosphere and land, resulting in more intense rainfall and droughts at the same time across the globe.

*The World Meteorological Organization reported that 2000-2009 was the hottest decade on record, with eight of the hottest 10 years having occurred since 2000.

* The spruce bark beetle is laying waste to millions of acres of forest from New Mexico to Alaska because winters are no longer cold enough most years to control their numbers.

* The Rocky Mountains in Canada and the U.S. have seen nearly 70,000 square miles of forest – an area the size of Washington state – die since 2000 due to outbreaks of tree-killing insects.

*The U.S. Geological Survey reports that slight changes in the climate may trigger abrupt ecosystem changes that may be irreversible.

*Coral reefs are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature. Heat triggers corals to shed the algae that nourish them—a bleaching event that leaves coral white.

* As the mercury rises, plants and animals are shifting their ranges toward the poles and to higher altitudes, and migration patterns for animals as diverse as whales and butterflies are being disrupted.

* A recent Audubon study reveals that nearly 60% of the 305 species of North American birds already are wintering farther north, some hundreds of miles from their former range.

* About one-third of the CO2 pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes is absorbed by the world’s oceans, where it forms carbonic acid. A 2010 study warns that unchecked greenhouse gas emissions could cause oceans to acidify at a rate unprecedented in at least the last 65 million years.

* In 1998, the world’s coral suffered its worst year on record, which left 16% bleached or dead. (ISRS statement [PDF]) Continued warming could cause mass bleachings to become an annual event within the next few decades, wiping out many reef ecosystems.

* As far back as the 1850s, a small number of weather stations around the world were compiling temperature records. These numbers grew during the 20th century and today there are thousands of land-based weather stations and ocean buoys in every corner of the world monitoring temperatures.

* Weather satellites have been monitoring global atmospheric temperatures since 1979.

* During the 20th century, sea level rose an average of 7 inches after 2,000 years of relatively little change.

* Proxy records are sophisticated ways of inferring surface temperatures over previous centuries and millennia.

* Ice Cores: One proxy method is to drill into glaciers and ice sheets to extract ice samples. Since the ice was formed from snow that fell over the centuries, the deeper you drill, the farther back in time you are looking.

* The chemical composition of the ice correlates very strongly with temperature. Scientists have constructed temperature records from ice cores taken from Tibetan and Andean glaciers, an ice cap in the Canadian Arctic, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. These records show that, at low latitudes, 20th century climate was unusually warm compared to the previous 2,000 years.

* The U.S. Geological Survey has warned that two-thirds of the world’s polar bear populations could be lost by mid-century as sea ice continues to retreat.

* A 2004 study by the Canadian Wildlife Service found that early sea-ice breakup correlates with a decline in health of adult female polar bears.

*The current warming of our climate will bring major hardships and economic dislocations — untold human suffering, especially for our children and grandchildren.

*While some skeptics may argue that there are benefits to global warming and extra CO2, warming in just the middle range of scientific projections would have devastating impacts on many sectors of the economy.

*Between 1961 and 1997, the world’s glaciers lost 890 cubic miles of ice. The consensus among scientists is that rising air temperatures are the most important factor behind the retreat of glaciers on a global scale over long time periods.

*Only CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activities explain the observed warming now taking place on Earth.

* The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it.

* Any light bulb dimmed by 25 percent will use roughly 20 percent less energy.

* Flame retardants, phthalates and toxic pesticides can all be found in household dust.

* Typical hotels use 218 gallons of water per day per occupied room.

* Idling for just 30 seconds burns more fuel than turning off the car and restarting it.

* Snowy roads can reduce fuel economy.

* Even high efficiency vehicles can release nearly a pound of CO2 for every mile driven.

* Refrigerators more than ten years old are typically 40 percent less efficient than newer, Energy Star-qualified models.

* Each year an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the world’s oceans, and according to researchers at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, California, there is some level of plastic in all of the seafood we eat.

* Laundry liquids contain up to 80 percent water.

*According to an EPA study, about 40% of heavy metals, including lead, mercury and cadmium, in landfills comes from electronic equipment discards.

* Hypermiling can dramatically increase fuel efficiency–up to 100 miles per gallon in a hybrid.

*Crawling traffic can contribute eight times as much air pollution as traffic moving at regular highway speeds.

*Microwave-safe” plastic containers and plastic wrap only guarantee that the plastic won’t melt or crack in the microwave, but don’t guarantee they won’t leach chemicals into food.

*A 2006 study found that among lymphoma patients, those who had used hair dyes were 1.19 times more likely to get lymphoma than those who never used it.

*Hot water can consume over 20 of the typical home’s energy budget.

*In most homes, heating water stands among the top energy expenses, accounting for 13 percent of the utility bill.

*Clothes dryers typically use almost 1000 kilowatt hours of energy each year.

*Because carbon dioxide pollution encourages plant growth, nearly twice as much ragweed and tree pollen enter the air as did 100 years ago.

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in every 15 homes nationwide has elevated levels of radon, the second-leading cause of lung cancer in America.

*25 percent of American children still live in conditions that put them at risk for lead exposure.

*Each year an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the world’s oceans.

*More carbon dioxide pollution encourages plant growth, which means more ragweed and tree pollen.

*The average driveway wash uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water while sending oil, detergents, and other pollutants down the storm drain.

*Fishing tackle made from lead is heavy, but toxic, and is directly responsible for poisoning wildlife like loons and eagles.

*If a quarter of the households in the United States replaced one incandescent with one CFL, it would save as much CO2 as planting 257,215 acres of forest.

*In the United States, paper products make up the largest percentage of municipal solid waste, and hard copy bills alone generate almost 700,000 tons of waste and almost two million tons of carbon dioxide.

*In West Africa, where 43 percent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown, 284,000 children work on cocoa farms under abusive labor conditions

*During dry months, 40 percent of the average household’s water consumption goes to outdoor watering

*More than 25 million Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year.

*Up to 50 percent of the average household’s energy consumption goes to heating and cooling the home.

*The single most polluting industry in the United States is electricity production.

*In a year, the average American consumes close to her entire body weight in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and refined sugar found in processed foods such as cookies, cakes, ketchup, canned and frozen fruits, juices and soft drinks.

*Indoor chemicals contribute to allergies, asthma, birth defects and learning disabilities in children.

*Conventional farming depletes soil carbon, preventing the soil from absorbing carbon dioxide.

*Found in almost every category of food on the market, food dye Red 40 can cause hyperactivity, aggressive behavior and inability to concentrate in children, and migraine and upset stomach in adults.

*U.S poison control centers received 214,091 reports of exposures to cleaning products in 2006. More than half involved children under five.

*Burning one gallon of gas produces roughly 25 pounds of CO2.

*Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been associated with health risks including, diabetes, heart disease and obesity, is found in the blood of 92 percent of all Americans over the age of five.

*In North America, fruits and vegetables travel an average of 1,500 miles before reaching your dinner table

*Reducing your speed to 55 mph from 65 mph may increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent; cut it to 55 from 70, and you could get a 23 percent improvement

*255 million chickens provide for our nation’s annual demand for eggs, and a geographic area the size of Wyoming is used to grow our wheat.

*In California alone, roughly 5 million elementary age students will hand out 5 million glossy and glittery valentines to their classmates.

*The American Association of Wine Economists estimates global greenhouse gas emissions from wine production and distribution to be 5,336,600 tons—roughly the same amount that one million passenger vehicles would emit in a year.

*Global warming and the ozone hole are two different problems.

*Climate prediction is fundamentally different from weather prediction, just as climate is different from weather.

*In most parts of the world, the retreat of glaciers has been dramatic. The best available scientific data indicate that Greenland’s massive ice sheet is shrinking.

*While different pockets of the country have experienced some cold winters here and there, the overall trend is warmer winters.

*Although humans as a whole have survived the vagaries of drought, stretches of warmth and cold and more, entire societies have collapsed from dramatic climatic shifts.

*The global warming we are experiencing is not natural. People are causing it.

*Any beneficial effects to helping the environment will be far outweighed by damage and disruption.

*Although water vapor traps more heat than CO2, because of the relationships among CO2, water vapor and climate, to fight global warming nations must focus on controlling CO2.

*A well designed trading program will harness American ingenuity to decrease heat-trapping pollution cost-effectively, jump starting a new carbon economy.

*There is no debate among scientists about the basic facts of global warming.

*According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, that number jumped to 28.3 gallons.

*Today, 80 percent of Americans have access to a plastics recycling program.

*More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008. Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.

*In 2007, more than 325 million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers were recovered for recycling. (This included deli containers, yogurt cups, etc.)

*In recent years, the number of U.S. plastics recycling business has nearly tripled. More than 1,600 businesses are involved in recycling post-consumer plastics.

*Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70 percent) from domestic natural gas.

*Plastic bags and product wraps (known collectively as “plastic film”) are commonly recycled at the many collection programs offered through major grocery stores.

*Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.

*During Keep America Beautiful’s 2008 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

*The average driveway wash uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water while sending oil, detergents, and other pollutants down the storm drain.

*Hormone-disrupting phthalates have been associated with birth defects and cancer in lab animals.

*Most of the cut flowers purchased in the U.S. are imported from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands.

*Americans spend up to 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they do for tap.

*The average American uses 50 pounds of tissue paper per year, and that equals a lot of felled trees if every pound comes from virgin pulp

*Of every 150-200 boys born in the UK, one will have hypospadias, a birth abnormality of the penis that has been associated with exposure to phthalates.

*Diesel exhaust from school buses contains asthma-triggering particulates and 40 microscopic chemicals that the Clean Air Act classifies as hazardous air pollutants.

*Americans toss out an extra 25 million tons of trash over the holidays, largely due to packaging.

*Burning one gallon of gas produces roughly 25 pounds of CO2.

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in every 15 homes nationwide has elevated levels of radon, the second-leading cause of lung cancer in America.

*Each year an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the world’s oceans

*Because carbon dioxide pollution encourages plant growth, nearly twice as much ragweed and tree pollen enter the air as did 100 years ago.

*Repellents that contain DEET can irritate eyes and can cause blisters and rashes on some users.

*Fishing tackle made from lead is heavy, but toxic, and is directly responsible for poisoning wildlife like loons and eagles

◦Avoid #3 PVC plastics to store food, especially hot, fatty foods, as PVC can leach chemicals such as phthalates.

◦Minimize the use of beauty products containing synthetic fragrances, and nail polish, which contain phthalates.

◦Choose toys that are PVC-free, such as those made by Lego, Little Tykes or Early Start.

*When shopping for a new dryer, choose one that has a moisture-sensing feature. A moisture sensor allows the dryer to automatically turn itself off when the clothes reach a specified level of dryness.

*In most homes, heating water stands among the top energy expenses, accounting for 13 percent of the utility bill.

◦Formaldehyde: The Boston fern (Nephrolepi exalta “Bostoniensis”), Florist’s mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium), the Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) and the Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) reduce indoor levels of formaldehyde, a contaminant present in particleboard, carpet backings, some grocery bags, facial tissues, paper towels and permanent-press clothing, and released by gas stoves.

◦Toluene/Xylene: The Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Moth orchid (Phalenopsis) and the Dwarf date palm remove xylene and toluene, harmful volatile organic chemicals which can be emitted from gasoline, adhesives, ceiling tiles, computer screens, paints, inks used in photocopiers, stains and varnishes, and upholstery.

◦Other hardworking and beautiful indoor plants include bamboo palm (Chamaedorea), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), English Ivy (Hedera helix), the indoor dracaenas (Dracaena “Janet Craig,” D. marginata, D. massangeana and D. warnekii), and the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii).

◦When choosing houseplants, remember that many can be toxic if ingested, so be extra careful if you have young children or pets in your home. Staff at the local garden center should be able to advise you on nontoxic choices.

◦Cut back on single-serving foods and beverages. Instead, buy items in bulk and portion them out into reusable containers.

◦Tone down the take-out. Cooking just one more dinner and packing just one more lunch a week will have a big impact on unnecessary waste and will save you money.

◦Buy household items, like detergent and cleaning supplies, in concentrated forms so that you get more product per package.

◦Whenever possible, look for packaging made from recycled materials, and always check the plastic code to make sure the package is recyclable.

*An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space — that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.

*Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!

*A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

*Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.

*On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste ‘each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.

*A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers — make sure they’re recycled!

*About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material!

*Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.

*The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.

*The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is “Mount Rumpke.” It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.

*The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.

*Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.

*On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.

*Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable!

*The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

*A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -and even longer if it’s in the landfill.

*Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.

*Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!

*Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!

*Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.

*Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year

*If 25% of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save over 2.5 BILLION bags a year.

*On the average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use over 200 million gallons of gas.

*Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.

*Over 100 pesticide ingredients are suspected to cause birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.

*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.

*Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers.

*By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.

*Insulating your attic reduces the amount of energy loss in most houses by up to 20%.

*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.

*Many banks lent large sums of money to developing nations. In order to pay those debts plus interest many nations have turned to the mining of their natural resources as a source of financial aid.

*Every day 40,000 children die from preventable diseases.

*The U.S. continues to promote and invest in private car travel rather than public transportation.

*The human population of the world is expected to be nearly tripled by the year 2100. A three percent annual growth rate will result in the doubling of consumption and production of food and other products in 25 short years.

*The amount of motor vehicles that are expected to be operated will increase 15 million a year until at least 2010.

*The world’s per capita grain production has been on the downfall since 1985 despite the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

*Already a train system has been developed (back in 1987) which is based on magnetic levitation and causes minimal pollution. These versions of a train are already in use in several countries.

*Fibre optics, made of glass, are being used to replace copper cables throughout the world.

*The uncontrolled fishing that is allowed has reduced the amount of commercial species. Some species, up to one-tenth of their original population.

*Every day 50 to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat and human influences destroy them.

*A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That’s closed loop recycling at its finest!

*Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.

*More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates.

*An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!

*There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.

*We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.

*At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!

*A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!

*To produce each week’s Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.

*Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.

*If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!

*If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.

*If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!

*The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!

*The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.

*Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.

*Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.

*The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.

*In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.

*Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!

*The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.

*The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.

*Throwing away a single aluminum can, versus recycling it, is like pouring out six ounces of gasoline. Last year, Americans recycled enough aluminum cans to conserve the energy equivalent of more than15 million barrels of oil

*The EPA estimates that 75 percent of what Americans throw in the trash could actually be recycled. Currently, only 25 percent is.
*Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job; land filling 10,000 tons of waste creates six jobs; recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.

*The national recycling rate of 30 percent saves the equivalent of more than five billion gallons of gasoline, reducing dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels.

*The aluminum can is 100 percent recyclable and can be used to make new beverage cans indefinitely – demonstrating recycling at is finest! “Every can, every time!”

*According to the EPA, recycling, including composting, diverted 68 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2001, up from 34 million tons in 1990.

*Recycling 35 percent of our trash reduces emissions equivalent to taking 36 million cars of the road.

*Every Sunday 500,000 trees could be saved if everyone recycled their newspapers.

*Think recycling is expensive? Consider this: aluminum cans are the most valuable item in your bin. Aluminum can recycling helps fund the entire curbside collection. It’s the only packaging material that more than covers the cost of collection and re-processing for itself.

*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.

*Deserts are advancing and taking over the land. In Mali the desert has taken over about 220 miles in as few as 20 years. Deserts can be repelled, by developing tree-planting projects, having better agriculture and by managing the land better. However, governments still are reluctant to fund anti-desertification, despite horrific droughts that have occurred in recent years.

*In Peninsular Malaysia, more tree species are found in 125 acres of Tropical Forest than in the entire North America.

*In Peru a single bush may contain more ant species than in the British Isles.

*A study has shown that there are possibly over 30 million species of insects dwelling in the canopies of tropical forests.

*63,000 square miles of Rainforests are being destroyed each year.
Rainforests higher than 3,000 feet above sea level are called cloud forests.

*Already over half of the world’s tropical forests have been lost.

*Madagascar is the home to a rainforest where 60 percent of it’s 12,000 different plant species are unique to that island.

*When you visit a pharmacist, one in every four purchases will have come from a tropical forest.

*Medicine produced in tropical forests bring in commercially 30 billion dollars a year.

*Large areas of South and Central America are cleared and burned for cattle ranching. This is so that farmers can provide cheap beef to consumers in the West.

*Every year approximately four billion tons of carbon accumulates in the air each year, about 30% of this comes directly from the continued burning of the rainforests.

*More than anything else, rainforest is destroyed by peasant farmers. However, the responsibility for this lies largely with the governments who fail to promote land reform and sustainable agricultural practices as an alternative to forest clearance.

*Greater than a quarter of our rainforest is in Brazil

* Turning of the faucet while brushing your teeth can save up to five gallons of water.

*Penguins live only in the Southern Hemisphere and never in the Northern Hemisphere.

*A single porcupine is known to kill 100 trees in one winter. It uses it’s sharp claws to climb a tree, sits on a limb to gnaw away at the bark and twigs and then stuffs them all into its mouth at once. Because of it’s liking for bark, the porcupine causes much damage to forests.

*A scallop moves by sucking water into its shell and then squirting it out suddenly. It likes to wander around and this gives it enough force to push it in front in a zig zag manner.

*A male garibaldi damselfish attract females for mating by covering a rock with a thick layer of alga. A male which clean off a rock to allow only algae to live have a higher chance of mating. The algae is also used to protect the eggs of the fish.

*To prevent the nest from getting soaked, the rare white-chinned swift, which nests behind the waterfalls of Latin America plant pieces of moss in the nest which then grow and reinforce the nest.

*A porcupine loves salt so much that it would walk into a camp and gnaw on anything that has been touched by salt or even by perspiring hands.
*Despite having a shell of armour for the body, an armadillo has teeth that do not have enamel and thus have very soft teeth. It can only eat soft food such as ants, termites, grubs and bugs.

*The tip of an elephant’s trunk is so sensitive and flexible that it can pick up a pin.

*If a mole does not find food within 12 hours, it will die. Its chief food consists of insects and earthworms.

*A male nightingale stops singing when its eggs have hatched so as not to attract unnecessary attention to the nest. However he gives short calls to tell the female that all is well or danger is approaching.

*Bolas spiders snare moths by producing chemicals similar to pheromones used by several species of female moths to attract mates.

*The webbed feet of the stormy petrel enable it to ‘walk’ on water. It spends almost its entire life over the ocean and only comes to land to breed. If a storm arises, they can’t walk on water and are forced to remain in the air all day and night.

*Some giant land turtles are able to bellow.

*No one knows what happens to the seahorse during winter as it is only seen during the summertime.

*There is a species in the river Nile in Egypt that avoids its enemies by swimming with its black belly up and its white back down.

*The arctic tern, a migrating bird is able to travel back and forth as much as 22000 miles in a course of a year.

*The Amazon army ants raid nests of certain black ants and carry back to cocoons and larvae to their own homes. When the cocoons hatch, they will become the slaves of these army ants and do all their work.

*The nest that an osprey is a huge and attractive one which is unhidden from sight and the bird adds new material each year to the same old nest. The nest can weigh up to 450 kilograms.