If you were looking for a sign to make a positive impact on our planet, then this is it. We’ve compiled some sobering statistics regarding the environment. We’re going to look through all the issues our capitalistic society has burdened mother Earth with. Moving on, here are some relevant environmental statistics that will make anybody think twice.
Plastic pollution, deforestation, animal agriculture, and more will be covered in this article, and we’re going to find which human activities cause destruction and what destruction has already been done. All of this is to perhaps adopt new ways to live a less destructive life on this planet.
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Environmental Statistics on Solid Waste
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a person can generate about 10.45 pounds of solid waste in a day. An estimated 3.48 pounds of it goes into landfills or gets burned for energy production, while 4.2 pounds end up in rivers and oceans as pollution.
In the United States, more than 382 million tons of waste are generated every year. This amounts to around 2.4 pounds per person. The average home produces about 5-7 bags of trash.
Plastic Paradise Environmental Statistics
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are 10 million metric tons of plastics floating in our oceans. Of that amount, only 13 percent has been recycled. Not very encouraging when you consider how many people rely on fish for their livelihoods.
The Earth has finite resources, and humans are throwing away tons of plastic each year. The strain that humans put on nature has begun taking its toll. Over half the world’s drinking water comes from sources contaminated by toxic chemicals.
A Decline in Biodiversity And Trees
Each year, the Department of Natural Resources releases a report on environmental statistics. This includes trends in forest cover and other measurements that show how humans are affecting our natural world.
In 2016 there were 2 million fewer hectares covered by trees. Plant species diversity has declined as well due to changes brought about by climate change. It affects weather patterns such as droughts or floods.
Moreover, a decline in forest cover is an issue for every type of species on Earth. Deforestation can be bad for mammals, insects, and other wildlife. The forests of Earth play a crucial role in trapping carbon dioxide and regulating our climate. They also regulate temperatures through plant growth cycles that create shade islands where animals like insects thrive because it gets cooler.
A Dying Marine Life
A recent study found that the world’s oceans have reached a “tipping point” and may become completely devoid of fish by 2048. Since 1950, human beings have released over 30% more carbon into the earth’s atmosphere than natural systems can absorb.
We must find new ways to balance our impacts so as not to leave future generations struggling under mounting environmental pressures from rising temperatures alone, let alone other issues such as water shortages.
Environmental Statistics on Mistreated Land
The number of dead zones around the world has increased by 40% over the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, desertification — the process where fertile farmland becomes less hospitable because rainfall decreases, is taking place at an alarming rate in Africa (affects about 46% of the continent) and Asia (the continent contains some 1.7 billion hectares of arid, semi-arid, and also dry sub-humid land).
Greenhouse Gases From Animal Agriculture
The impact of animal agriculture on our environment is immense. There’s a lot we don’t know about how it affects the land and what impacts can be expected in coming years, but there are some statistics that show just where things stand:
The number one problem with factory farms today isn’t manure or clean water issues; they produce nearly 100% more greenhouse gases than other agricultural methods.
Environmental Statistics on A Warmer Planet
The Earth’s temperature is rising due to global warming, and this has experts worried. A study recently published by Nature Communications found that almost half (48%) of the world’s glaciers have completely melted since 1993.
Sea levels have risen to about 8 inches since 1870. Other effects that have been observed are the shrinking of glaciers, premature flowering of trees, and ice on rivers and lakes breaking up much earlier after winter.
Final Thoughts on Environmental Statistics
We hope that by reading this article about environmental statistics our readers can become more aware of what’s going on around our planet. Knowing is just one part of the process. If we want to make an actual change and live a lifestyle that is more harmonious with nature, we must act immediately. In case you missed something, here are some of the key takeaways from this article:
- The average person generates about 10.45 pounds of solid waste per day.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are 10 million metric tons of plastics floating in our oceans.
- A recent study found that the world’s oceans have reached a “tipping point” and may be completely devoid of fish by 2048.
- The number one problem with factory farms today isn’t manure or clean water issues; they produce nearly 100% more greenhouse gases than other agricultural methods.
There is already a lot of devastation happening on our planet. However, those who are largely responsible for the most destructive activities on our planet are rich companies that profit from its natural resources. Unfortunately, many of them refuse to stop or change the way they handle things.
However, we should not let this discourage us from trying to live a more sustainable and less wasteful life. We are all connected, one way or another, and our actions have consequences. We must be the change we want to see in the world.