Environmental Facts Collection

November 21, 2018

Our Earth is so amazing! Did you know… 

  • Approximately 52,000 square kilometers of forests are developed every year. This is less than half of what is being cut down or burned in a year. At current pace, the disappearing of forests on the planet continues at an alarming rate.

Lots of great real time forestry data here on the degradation & destruction of ecosystems and reforestation: http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/degradation_and_destruction_of_ecosystems/forestation_and_deforestation 

  • Over 14.2 billion trees have been planted as of 2016 by the UN Billion Tree Campaign
  • Only 1% of our planet’s water supply can be used. 97% is ocean water and 2% is frozen solid in the Arctic, for now.
  • 27,000 trees are cut down each day so we can have Toilet Paper.
  • Aluminum can be recycled continuously, as in forever. Recycling 1 aluminum can save enough energy to run our TVs for at least 3 hours. 80 trillion aluminum cans are used by humans every year.
  • American companies alone use enough Paper to encircle the Earth 3x! (It’s a good thing that businesses are moving towards going paperless)
  • We can save 75,000 trees if we recycled the paper used on the daily run of the New York Times alone.
  • When you throw plastic bags and other plastic materials in the ocean, it kills as many as 1 million sea creatures annually.
  • A glass bottle made in our time will take more than 4,000 years to decompose.
  • Our planet gains inhabitants numbering to 77 million people a year.
  • An estimated 50,000 species inhabiting our tropical forests become extinct annually. That’s an average of 137 species a day.
  • Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute.
  • The world’s oldest trees are more than 4,600 years old.
  • Landfills are composed of 35% packaging materials.
  • If the entire world lived like the average American, we’d need five planets to provide enough resources.
  • Getting it right on climate change is also an opportunity to create jobs, economic growth and other benefits. In 2016, the number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in fossil fuel extraction for the first time – solar jobs grew 12 times faster than overall job creation. In China, there are 35 percent more people working in clean energy than in oil and gas.
  • Environmental income accounts for about 28 percent of income worldwide, with particular importance for low-income households. Three-quarters of this income comes from natural forests, and one in eleven people are lifted out of extreme poverty thanks to forests.
  • Premature deaths caused by air pollution are tragic and come at a high price tag of an estimated $225 billion in foregone labor each year.
  •  Giving oceans a break could generate up to US$83 billion / year in additional benefits for fisheries. The Sunken Billions Revisited report shows that reducing the global fishing effort would allow fish stocks to recover from overexploitation and boost the profitability of the fisheries sector from an estimated $3 billion a year to $86 billion.  In addition, a healthy ocean delivers climate benefits through “blue carbon” sinks such as mangroves and other vegetated ocean habitats that sequester 25 percent of the extra CO2 from fossil fuels.
  • Restoring deforested and degraded lands promises huge benefits for the economy and climate. Some two billion hectares of deforested and degraded lands could be restored to functional, productive landscapes with broad benefits including climate mitigation, improved agriculture production, clean water, wildlife habitat, and forest products. Africa provides the largest landscape restoration opportunity, followed by Latin America. According to WRI, restoring 20 million hectares (that’s just 1% of the potential) of degraded lands in Latin America and the Caribbean would yield $23 billion in net benefits over 50 years.
  • Wildlife is an asset to developing countries. In Kenya, for example, wildlife tourism comprises 12% of GDP, in Tanzania it is 10% of GDP. Investing in long term protection of wildlife and wild landscapes ensures present and future generations gain social, ecological and economic returns. However, Wildlife crime is accelerating, corrupting and killing the wildlife and the institutions that are trying to protect it”, Prof Lee White, Executive Secretary of Gabon’s National Parks Agency.

Source: WorldBank, UN, WorldCounter