As a new year begins, it is important to know where we have come from and where we are in regards to sustainability. We have pulled together the most interesting sustainability and environmental facts through 2016 to prepare for the upcoming year.
- On average, a single person generates 3 pounds of waste each day, up 1.6 pounds from 1960.
- About 55% of 220 million tons of waste generated each year in the U.S. ends up in one of the over 3,500 landfills.
- Americans make up about 5% of the world’s population, yet annually produce 27% of the world’s garbage.
- The largest contributor to waste in the typical American garbage can is paper and packaging materials, making up approximately 31% of all waste Americans send to the landfill.
- Food and yard waste accounts for 27% of our annual waste, of which 14% is waste food purchases.
- One alternative that is readily available to people is composting. On average, two-thirds of our household waste can be composted.
- Less than 3% of the world’s water is drinkable, of which 2.5% is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers.
- Man is polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.
- Excessive water use adds to global water stress. On average, toilets use approximately 27% of the water consumed in your home. Switching household appliances to energy efficient ones can have a significant impact on your water use footprint.
- Residential power use accounts for 6% of all electricity use
- Residential energy use generates about 21% of the CO2 emissions in the United States, two times as much as an average car.
- What many consumers do not know is about 50% of U.S. consumers do have access to alternative energy sources through their current power company, but few utilize them.
- One recycled bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for four hours and causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than does making a new bottle.
As you can see, we have some work to do to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and world. Each small step individuals and businesses take can have a larger impact than you imagine. Business can get started today with help from companies like ours to help identify where to begin implementing sustainable practices and systems.