It can sometimes feel that there is almost too much environmental information for us to process. The range of facts is huge and it can be difficult to work out what’s relevant or even true. With so much worry about “fake news”, how can we know that what we see is really accurate? How can we trust the providers of the information especially when so much of it comes across in an emotional and often irrational way? How can we see beyond the competing rhetoric to see what matters?
With predictions ranging from the apocalyptic to the complacent, it is wise to take a little time to look at just some of the key pieces of information.
With this in mind, here is a selection of some fast facts and figures about the environment. Drawing on these might just help us all to build a more sustainable world:
- Every day, 27,000 trees get cut down so we can have toilet paper.
- We can do much to harvest the properties of aluminium. It is possible to recycle itcontinuously, meaning it never degrades. The simple choice to recycle one aluminium can save enough energy to run our TVs for at least three hours. With 80 trillion aluminium cans used by consumers every year, recycling more has a quick and lasting impact.
- Companies in the US alone use enough paper to wrap around the Earth three times. Yes, many businesses are making progress in going paperless but we still need to do even more to save our trees and boost they air that we breathe.
- The daily print run of just the New York Times would save 75,000 trees if we recycled the paper used.
- Images of plastic clogging our oceans and rivers increasingly worry us. If we stopped discarding plastic bags and other plastic materials in the ocean, we could save as many as 1 million sea creatures each year.
- A glass bottle we make now will last for more than 4,000 years before it decomposes.
- We can only 1% of our planet’s water supply as 97% is ocean water and 2% is frozen solid in the polar ice caps. Pause for a moment the next time you leave the tap running!
- Our planet’s population grows by 77 million people a year placing pressure on food and water supplies and the quality of live for those joining our world.
- We lose around 50,000 from our tropical forests each year as they become extinct. That’s an average of 137 species a day.
- The rainforests we need to keep CO2 levels under control get chopped down at a rate of 100 acres per minute.
- As we clear our forests, remember that the world’s oldest surviving trees are more than 4,600 years old.
- Our discarded waste in landfills sites contains 35% packaging materials. We can all do much more to reduce this.
There is plenty more useful information available just by clicking on the following link: