Here are a last couple of tidbits...
In Ireland in 2002, a tax was instituted on plastic bag consumption. Consumption dropped by more than 90%! More than 12 countries tax or ban plastic bags.
In most cities, Starbucks' paper cups (2.3 billion annually!) are not recyclable (because they are coated with plastic so that they don't leak). However, more and more cities are able to recycle styrofoam cups.
Bowls, plates, cups and cutlery can be made from sugar cane, corn and/or potatoes. These products are biodegradable/compostable.
The average American generates 4.5 pounds of garbage daily. For a family of 4 that equals more than 6,500 pounds of trash in one year. Obviously, when you multiply that by the number of families in the US and calculate it over several years, the amount of garbage is staggering.
Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled (on average) 1,500 miles to reach your plate. That's a lot of gasoline at dinner!
Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest source of landfill waste. (This is one of my regrets...that I did not cloth diaper my boys.)
75% of the electricity used to power household appliances is still used when the electronics are turned off.
Composting is gaining enough popularity that our kids are learning about it on Curious George (PBS) and Toot & Puddle (Noggin).
40% of bottled water is tap water.
If everyone in America ate one meal a week made of completely locally and organically raised produce and meats, our country's oil consumption would drop by 1.1 million barrels a week.
Sun Chips uses solar energy to make some of their chips. Additionally, they hope to create a fully biodegradable/compostable bag by 2010.
In every ocean there is a floating garbage debris. The largest area is in the Pacific and it's surface size is equivalent to the size of Texas. In some places the trash is 90 feet deep. It's comprised primarily of plastic bags and bottles.
If you want to learn about what you can do to help the environment, feel free to read some of my other posts from this week:
- Respect your mother...
- Special Delivery!
- Bags, farmers and worms...oh, my!
- Scooters, styrofoam and no-waste lunches...oh, my!
To win my 'get green starter kit,' enter my giveaway here.
Now I'm stepping down from my soap box (and taking it straight to the recycling bin). ;)