Monday, April 21, 2008

Interesting Tips

Those of you who know me know that I am not an environmental freak. However, there have some emails sent around the office over the last week. Interesting stuff.

In the Delta Flight Magazine, there was a list of items that, if done collectively, would make a big impact in helping to keep our planet green. All of the items are not big sacrifices; it’s just a small change that has big consequences, if enough of us follow the suggestion.

If the thermostats in every house in America were lowered 1 degree Fahrenheit during the winter, the nation would save 230 million barrels of crude oil – enough to fill an oil tanker 400 times. That’s the amount of oil being imported into the US from Iraq each year.

If 40 million people were to spend 1 minute less each day in the shower over their lifetimes, they save 4 trillion gallons of water – the total amount of snow and rain that falls over the entire lower 48 United States in a day.

The people of the United States represent less than 5% of the world’s population, yet we use more than 25% of the planet’s resources. If the rest of the world rose to our level of consumption, four additional planets would be needed to supply the resources and absorb the waste.

One soft drink can recycled by each elementary school student in America would save 24.8 million cans. That would be enough aluminum to create 21 Boeing 737 airplanes.

One hour of using a gas-operated leaf blower produces the same amount of greenhouse gases as a car driving 4,400 miles – that’s around trip from Salt Lake City to New York City. Use a Rake for goodness sake!

One gallon of used oil – the amount from a small car engine – can pollute 1 million gallons of fresh water and create an 8-acre oil slick. (Each year, nearly 200 million gallons of used oil are illegally dumped on the ground, tossed in the trash or poured down storm sewers and drains.)

One old cell phone recycled by each cell phone user in America would reclaim enough precious metals to create 631 solid gold replicas of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen’s funerary mask.

If homebuilders installed one dual-flush toilet instead of a standard low-flow toilet in every new house built in 2008, they would save 1.65 billion gallons of water a year.

One out of every 3 pounds of the waste that Americans generate is just for packaging, which each year adds up to 77 million tons – enough to fill the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans 37 times.

If every American switched to receiving just one bill as an electronic statement instead of a paper one, the one-time saving would be 217,800,000 sheets – enough to completely blanket the island of Key West in a single layer of paper.

If just one passenger per each flight in the world this year packed 1 pound less of luggage, they would save enough fuel to fly a Boeing 737 around the world 474 times.

One dimmer switch replacing a regular on/off switch in every U.S. house would save the electricity necessary to light 1,200,000 homes – that’s every home in the state of Arkansas.

Replacing just one 500-sheet roll of virgin toilet paper a year with one 500-sheet roll of 100% recycled paper in every American household would leave 424,000 trees standing – 16 times as many trees as in New York City’s Central Park.

If Iowans purchased 1% more locally grown produce instead of fruits and vegetables shipped in from out of state, they could save enough fuel to drive a Toyota Prius back and forth from Portland Oregon, to Portland Maine 211 times (crossing Iowa 422 times).

If one 20-mile trip per week was cut out (by combining errands), for every registered vehicle in the U.S., 145 million fewer tons of greenhouse gases would be released into the air each year. That’s equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from 36 coal-fired power plants.

If everyone in Atlanta who normally drove to work would telecommute just one day a year instead, they would save more than $50 million in gas – enough to buy an Energy Star compact fluorescent bulb for the desk lamps of every college student in the U. S.

If every newspaper reader in the U.S. recycled just one typical Sunday paper, he or she could help create 212,000,000 pounds of cellulose insulation – enough to insulate 118,767 Habitat for Humanity houses. That’s nearly twice as many houses as all the Habitat homes built in America so far.

If every American collected 1 gallon of water once a week while waiting for the shower or bathwater to get hot (use it to water your houseplants), the total saved would be 15.8 billion gallons of water a year – enough to fill the Reflecting Pool at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 2,338 times.

If every American household had turned off the lights for one hour at 8 PM local time on 3-29-08 during the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2008, they would prevent more than 16,610 tons of carbon dioxide from being released – enough to fill every hot-air balloon at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta seven times.

If 1 quart of leftover paint was recycled from every renovation project in America this year (10% of all the house paint purchased in the U. S. is typically thrown out), it would reclaim 2.5 million gallons – enough to paint the outside of the White House every year for the next 43 centuries, or to pain San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge 250 times.


Unknown said...

WOW, there are tons of little things that we can do to help out!! Thanks for the tips

Elaine said...

So, does this mean you will be working from home more to save on gas emissions? JK

Wow, the only things on that list I can say I've been doing is recycling a little bit, some online bills w/o paper being mailed, and buying produce at the local farm market now that they're open (I do think that is very important, even if it costs more than Wal-Mart).

I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up even one minute in the shower... but I bet we could reduce our light usage and bring the temp down one degree in the winter.

Crazy how wasteful we Americans are...

I'm sure you're getting all this because Tuesday was Earth Day... but I'm glad to see the general public be educated about how wasteful and indulgent we are...

Crazy stuff.