Continuing a line of previous posts on terrific eco-stats coming from David Suzuki’s Green Guide (on energy, food, and travel), here is a summary of eco-stats related to the production, consumption, and disposal of STUFF that can be used by any green business in the STUFF industry.
Americans generate 189,200 pounds of waste and pollution annually.
Our economy uses three times each person’s body weight per person per day in resources.
1980 spending on advertising to children in America: $100 M
2004 spending on advertising to children in America: $15 B
Children see an average of 40,000 commercials per year.
The average person generates twice as much trash today as in 1960, despite in the increase in recycling.
34% of Americans’ waste is paper or cardboard. Another 25% is compostable. In other words, 60% of our waste could have another life.
On average, every square kilometer (0.38 square miles) of ocean contains 18,000 pieces of plastic.
In 1980, there was only one curbside recycling program in the U.S. As of 2005, there were 9,000.
Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of energy needed to produce aluminum from raw materials.
Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill.
Americans trash enough white office paper to build an 11 foot wall from New York to Seattle every year.
88% of Americans believe their society is too materialistic. 90% say it consumes too many resources.
In states with no deposit for bottle returns, the recycling rate is 27%. Where it is 5 cents, the rate jumps to 70%. Where it is 10 cents, the rate jumps to 95%.
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday, the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.