I know, I know, statistics are never really that fun. However, it’s really important to know what’s going on and how we (humans) are impacting the Earth. It’s hard to change a habit unless you know why the change is needed. So…without further ado, let’s get to it.
**All numbers are for American consumption.
Food–this is the highest category for consumption
- our food travels 1500-3000 miles from farm to table
- an increase of 25% from 1980-2001
- we eat 200 lbs. of meat per year
- this equates to 5000 gallons of water being used (and this is per person)
- we throw away 200,000 tons of edible food daily
- or 73,000,000 annually
- we consume 815 billion calories per year
- 200 billion more than needed
- enough to feed 80 million people
- 80% of corn and 95% of oats grown are fed to cattle (which is not what they naturally eat, but more on that in another post)
- 56% of available farmland is used for beef production
Clothing–2nd highest category consumed
- we spend $282 billion annually on new clothing
- in 2002, 75 new items per person were purchased
- we throw away 68 lbs. of clothing (per person) or 10 millions tons (nationally)
- the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and can be seen from space
- there are 315 lbs. of plastic currently in the oceans
- it is estimated by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans
- in 2009, 8,454 million gallons of bottled water consumed (just in the U.S.)
- in 1950 the average house size was 983 sq. ft., and it housed an average of 3.37 people
- in 2010 the average house size was 2,438 sq. ft., and it housed an average of 2.53 people
So, although our families have decreased, our homes have increased.
Energy and other resources
- we use 441 gallons of fuel just for our automobiles
- we use 11,040 Kw of electricity
- we consume 1/3 of the world’s paper, 1/4 oil, 23% coal, 27% aluminum, and 19% copper
We are less than 5% of the world’s population, yet we contribute to 1/2 of the globe’s solid waste.
I encourage you to take a look at the links below to get more information. I also hope this gives you an idea of why I’ve chosen the lifestyle I have and I hope you’ll look into this information more.
Goditi la vita!