11 Facts about the Environment

1. Every day Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up the Empire State Building!

2. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a 3.5 million-ton heap of debris floating in the Pacific Ocean. It is twice the size of Texas and 80% plastic! (Marine biologists say the trash found its way there through storm drains that empty out into the ocean.)

3. Plastic bags and other plastic garbage that end up in the ocean kill as many as one million sea creatures a year. (Most commonly: sea turtles)

4. E-waste (that is, electronic waste like computers, cameras, and cell phones) are filled with highly toxic materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium. These chemicals can seep into the ground and get into the water supply if they are not recycled properly. 

5. E-waste represents 2% of America's trash in landfills but is the source of 70% of our overall toxic waste. 

6. The U.S throws out approximately 300 million electronic items per year, and less than 20% of that e-waste is recycled. 

7. If you replace 25% of your lightbulbs with fluorescents, you can save about 20% on your lighting bill. 

8. Home refrigerators in the U.S use the same amount of electricity as 25 large power plants every year. (weird color!)

9. Every year, U.S factories spew three million tons of toxic chemicals into the air, land, and water. 

10. Each year, one American produces more than 3,285 pounds of hazardous waste. 

11. Over 80% of items in landfills can be recycled but are not.

Sources: Environmental Protection AgencyNew York TimesGreenpeace International

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Great Pacific Trash Heap (not actual picture, duh)


  1. The Americans do throw away a lot of waste don't they? I'll try and use these tips for the future.



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