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Facts about the Environment for Kids

Gathered by: E.Trio

  • Although water covers two-thirds of the surface of the Earth, all the fresh water in lakes, streams, and rivers represents only one-hundredth of the Earth’s total water.
  • Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars to fill the 1,350-foot twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center every two weeks.
  • Eighty-four percent of a typical household’s waste–including food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles–can be recycled.
  • Using recycled paper for one print run of the Sunday edition of the New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25 million trees a year.
  • It takes only one-twentieth as much raw materials to grow grains, fruits, and vegetables as it does to raise animals for meat.
  • America’s refrigerators use about 7 percent of the nation’s total electricity consumption–the output of about 25 large power plants.
  • By turning the heat down, Americans could save more than 500,000 barrels of oil each day–that’s over 21,000,000 gallons.
  • Driving an average of 1,000 miles a month produces about 120 tons of carbon dioxide a year.
  • 60,000,000 – The number of plastic bottles thrown into U.S. landfills each day. It takes 1.5 million barrels of crude oil each year to produce these bottles – translating into enough fuel to run 100,000 cars for a year.
  • Currently, it would take 20 of today’s new automobiles to release the same number of emissions as a 1960s model.
  • Carbon monoxide emissions (CO) have decreased by 33 percent. Forty-one fewer tons are being produced per year as a result of current efforts. Much of these emissions are from cars, trucks, buses, lawn and construction equipment.
  • Large utility and industrial boilers and other mechanical devices are producing 12 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions. This is 3.3 million tons fewer each year. Nitrogen oxide is a contributing factor to ozone formation.
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions have reduced by 38 percent or 13 million tons per year. These emissions are typically associated with large boilers. Acid rain has been a product of these emissions in the past.
  • Dropping 14 million tons per year, volatile organic compound emissions have decreased by 42 percent. VOC emissions are a factor in the formation of the ozone layer.
  • Particulate matter emissions reduced by 9 million tons per year, or a 75 percent reduction.
  • Decreased by 98 percent, lead emissions have reduced by 217 thousand tons per year.
  • The EPA statistics indicate that the decrease in emissions is about 48 percent across the board, reducing pollution by 109 million tons of toxic fumes.
  • Recycling and composting rates recovered 32.1 percent of MSW or 79 million tons. But this figure, you will recall, does not include hazardous, industrial, and construction waste. 32.1 percent is higher than before but still way too low.
  • Approximately 8,550 curbside recycling programs existed throughout the United States, a lower figure than the 8,875 programs that existed in 2003.
  • Composting programs, meaning that people recycle leaves and grass, and other organic items such as food, jumped from 3,227 in 2003 up to 3,470. For more details about how you can compost, read Building a Compost Bin.
  • From 1990 to 2005, the amount of MSW going to U.S. landfills has decreased by 9 million tons and continues to decrease each year. However, U.S. goals should and do continue to address the fact that these figures can be improved.
  • If every US citizen between the ages of 10 to 74 walked half hour each day rather than drive, our carbon dioxide emissions would be decreased by 64 million tons.
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