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Earth Day Facts and Figures

Eye-opening statistics that will make you think twice before heading for the garbage can.

Earth Day was celebrated for the first time on  April 22, 1970. In that inaugural year, 20 million people participated in the United States. Today, it is projected that more then 1 billion people in 180 countries will celebrate Earth Day.

  • By simply recycling one aluminum can, you are saving enough energy to watch a TV for three hours. Recycling one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours.
  • We use more than 80 billion aluminum soda cans every year. It takes 90 percent less energy to recycle aluminum cans than to make new ones.
  • Recycling every newspaper would save about 250 million trees each year. Unfortunately, only 27 percent of all American newspapers are recycled.
  • The average individual throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day and uses about 12,000 gallons of water every year.
  • The average car burns an average of two gallons of fuel a day. Each of those gallons releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
  • It takes plastic and aluminum cans 500 years to break down, and organic materials, cotton, rags and paper only 6 months to break down.
  • Most families throw away about 88 pounds of plastic every year.
  • We throw away billions of dead batteries away every year. This makes up 88 percent of the mercury and 54 percent of the cadmium deposited into  landfills.
  • Recycled paper uses 64 percent less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp and can save many trees. Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees.
  • Approximately 1-billion-trees worth of paper is thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • Half a million trees must be cut down to produce each week's Sunday newspapers.
  • Every year, 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the oceans. Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.
  • The amount of wood and paper thrown away annually is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
  • We use seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2 billion trees per year!
  • Nearly  80 million Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day. That's enough recyclable aluminum foil to cover more than 50 acres of space or 40 football fields.
  • Every year, Americans discards 16 million diapers, 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razor blades, 220 million car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the U.S. commercial air fleet four times over.
Courtney Courville April 22, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Earth Day is a great start for making a difference!! Recycling used, unwanted mobile phones is a great way to make a difference. VertiGO RECOVER will help your business or individual establish a plan for on-going cell phone recycling. VertiGO will buy your old cell phone and recycle it according to strict, no landfill policies. Approved by the Department of Defense and DISA-certified, VertiGO is the choice recycler of the US Government and military. www.vertigorecover.com
Riley Martin April 12, 2012 at 05:13 PM
trooollllllllllllllllllllll trol trolllll
Bob March 18, 2013 at 06:20 PM
"•Recycling every newspaper would save about 250 million trees each year. Unfortunately, only 27 percent of all American newspapers are recycled" actually, you lost me here, Greenie. When trees are harvested far more are planted, much like a crop. If 250 million were harvested, about 5 times that number would be planted. Few know that paper recycling is one of the most energy intensive and polluting industries out there. The acids and caustic used to break down the pulp are horrendously toxic, and the transportation of used paper takes more energy than creating new paper. If it was cost and environmentally effective, you can bet your dupa there'd be much more of it! The aluminum can recycling is another deal. That makes a great deal of sense as it eliminates much of the pollution from separating the bauxite and is far less energy intensive than the bauxite/aluminum refining process. We have to be smart about what we recycle and not just follow even BAD ideas from the Greenies!

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