The way we live is putting our planet in unimaginable danger. Our choices are causing rivers to dry up, oceans to lose their marine life, the air to be full of carbon dioxide… all leading to irreversible climate change.
If we truly want to have a good, last impact on the planet – we must learn to make better, more sustainable choices. Choices that do not cause harm to the environment. And to do this you first understand just how dire the situation is. These 20 sustainability facts are a good starting point.
20 Fun Facts About Sustainability
Now let’s get straight into sustainability facts that will inspire to lead a more sustainable life.
1. According to sustainable facts about 80% of the ítems that Americans throw away can be recycled. However, currently, America’s recycling rate is at only 28%.
2. The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year. If all this paper was recycled, we could save up to 100 million tons of wood every year.
3. 500,000 trees are cut down to produce Sunday newspapers each week. If you were to recycle your copy of the Sunday edition of the New York Times, you alone could save 75,000 trees. And if we all recycled all our newspapers, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
Related article: Effects of Deforestation on the Environment
4. Environmental sustainability facts show that enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
5. Americans use over 2.5 million plastic bottles every thirty minutes. Most of these bottles are simply thrown away even though they can be recycled.
6. It takes a 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags.
7. Plastic bags and Styrofoam containers take up to thousands of years to decompose. When they are dumped in the environment, they kill thousands of marine animals and contaminate soil and water.
8. Plastics make up the most litter collected during international coastal cleanups. These plastics include plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, plastic lids, straws and stirrers, and foam takeaway containers.
9. An average American family can use up to 260 gallons of water at home per day.
10. It takes about 4.68 gallons of water to brush your teeth if you leave your tap running.
11. A 15-minutes shower takes 25-50 gallons of water.
12. Sustainability fun facts have revealed that if just one person goes vegan, they can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.
13. Australians could save about 800,000 megalitres of water, which is more than the whole of Sydney Harbour just by using more water-efficient appliances and products.
14. sustainability facts show that a tap leaking just one drip per second wastes more than 12,000 liters of water a year.
15. When you leave your computer monitors on overnight they emit 9 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
16. If you replace one old-style incandescent globe with a compact fluorescent light you will save around $40 in electricity costs. It will also last six times longer.
17. Americans use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year and if we recycle one soda can we can save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
Climate Change Facts
18. According to sustainability facts, energy is the number one contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
19. We need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by humans to 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050 to avoid a climate change catastrophe.
20. Sustainability facts show that cycling 10 kilometers each way to work can save you about $1,700 in transport costs but most importantly, you will save the world 1,500 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
Why is sustainability important
Sustainability is important in order to save the planet from running out of fossil fuels and lumber, thousands if not millions of animal species becoming extinct or damaging the atmosphere beyond repair.
What Does Sustainability Mean?
The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as resources that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
In a society that is sustainable, its demand for nature is in balance with nature’s capacity to meet that demand.
As you can see from these sustainability facts, if we are not more conscious about the way we live, we will soon not have a planet to live on.
We hope we’ve inspired you enough to start living a sustainable life. So go on and try out these 65 ways of living sustainably.
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Waste Management, A Recycling Revolution, Do Something.org
Stella - Writer
Stella is a writer and mother from Thika, Kenya.
Her love for nature and the beautiful Kenyan outdoors has inspired Stella to consciously make an effort to lead a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.