Education, Schools, & Kids > Educational Information
Every winter, the energy equivalent of all the oil that flows through the Alaskan pipeline in a year leaks through American windows.
The average U.S. home uses the energy equivalent of 1,253 gallons of oil every year.
Microwaves use around 50% less energy than conventional ovens; they’re most efficient for small portions or defrosting.
Every time you open your oven door during cooking, you lose 25 to 50 degrees- or more.
Washers and dryers can account for as much as 25% of the energy you use at home (including the hot water for the wash).
As much as 90% of the energy consumed by washing machines and 80% of the energy used by dishwashers goes to heating the water.
During the winter, you can save as much as 3% of the energy your furnace uses simply by lowering your thermostat one degree F (if it’s set between 65 F and 72 F).
Dust on a light bulb or dirt on a glass fixture can reduce the light it gives off by 10 percent and make it seem that you need a brighter, higher wattage bulb.
Even the paint color you choose can affect your energy use. A white wall reflects 80 percent of the light that hits it; a black one reflects just 10 percent. The more light the walls reflect, the greater the chance that the light can be ‘recycled’ by striking the wall, bouncing off, and still illuminating the room.
A heated waterbed can use as much energy as a large refrigerator. Leaving it unmade in the fall or winter can double that by letting the heat dissipate into the air.
You can save 10% or more of your heating or cooling costs by insulating and tightening up ducts.
About 15% of the energy you use for heating your home goes to warming up air that leaks in through the cracks.
Efficiency counts. The most effective new appliances typically use 50% less energy than the most wasteful ones.
Choose a refrigerator with a freezer on top, instead of a side-by-side unit. On average, the savings amount to 20%.
Between 15 and 30 percent of the energy your water heater uses goes to keeping a tank of water hot, just in case you need it.
Even during a mild winter, you can lose as much energy through one single-pane window as a 75-watt light bulb uses running seven hours a day, 365 days a year.
A double-pane window retains twice as much heat as a single-pane window.
40% of the energy you use in your home is for heat.
$1 out of every $11 Americans spend for food goes for packaging.
Americans dump the equivalent of more than 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year.
In 1865, an estimated 10,000 hogs roamed New York City, eating garbage. Now, one of every six U.S. trucks is a garbage truck.
In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his/her adult weight in garbage. If you add it up, this means that a 150-lb. adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs of trash for his/her children.
The average baby generates a ton of garbage every year.
The landfill gas produced daily at Fresh Kills Landfill is enough fuel to heat 50,000 homes.
Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars every two weeks to fill the 1,350-foot towers of the former World Trade Center.
Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
Glass never wears out — it can be recycled forever. We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled — 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar.
States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume.
If all the glass bottles and jars collected through recycling in the U.S. in 1994 were laid end to end, they’d reach the moon and half way back to earth.
If only 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually. If a million people did this, we could save up to a million and a half trees.
The junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes.
The average American still spends 8 full months of his/her life opening junk mail.
Every year Americans buy over a billion incandescent lightbulbs. That’s three acres of bulbs every day.
A 60-watt incandescent bulb lasts about 750 hours; a fluorescent bulb with 1/3 the wattage will generate the same light and burn for 7,500 to 10,000 hours in five to ten years of normal use.
Substituting a compact fluorescent light for a traditional bulb will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb.
Every year we save enough energy recycling steel to supply L.A. with nearly a decade’s worth of electricity.
We save enough energy by recycling one aluminum can to run a TV set for three hours.
Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch. That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can out of new material. Energy savings in 1993 alone were enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.
Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them.
Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day.
Americans throw out enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continuous basis.
A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution and mining wastes by about 70%.
When you toss out one aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you’d filled the same can half-full of gasoline and poured it into the ground.
More than 50% of a new aluminum can is made from recycled aluminum.
The 36 billion aluminum cans landfilled last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. (Some day we’ll be mining our landfills for the resources we’ve buried.)
Every day America cuts down two million trees-but throws away about 42 million newspapers. That means the equivalent of about 500,000 trees is dumped into landfills every week.
If everyone who subscribes to the New York Times recycled, we’d keep over 6,000 tons of pollution out of the air.
It takes an entire forest–over 500,000 trees to supply Americans with their Sunday newspapers every week.
One gallon of used motor oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of water.
Most cars on U.S. roads carry only one person. We have so much extra room in our 140 million cars that everyone in Western Europe could ride with us.
If today is a typical day on planet earth, humans will add fifteen million tons of carbon to the atmosphere, destroy 115 square miles of tropical rainforest, create seventy-two square miles of desert, eliminate between forty to one hundred species, erode seventy-one million tons of topsoil, add twenty-seven hundred tons of CFCs to the stratosphere, and increase their population by 263,000.
Almost four million computer diskettes are thrown away every day, which equals over one and a half billion disks per year or a stack of disks as tall as the Sears Tower in Chicago every 21 seconds. It will take nearly 500 years for the disks to degrade.
Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.
Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every year.
26 recycled PET bottles equals a polyester suit. 5 recycled PET bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.
In 1988 we used 2 billion pounds of HDPE just to make bottles for household products. That’s about the weight of 90,000 Honda Civics.
If every American household recycled just one out of every ten HDPE bottles they used, we’d keep 200 million pounds of the plastic out of landfills every year.
The steel industry’s annual recycling saves the equivalent energy to electrically power about 18 million households for a year. Every time a ton of steel is recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1000 pounds of coal and 40 pounds of limestone is preserved.
Every day Americans use enough steel and tin cans to make a steel pipe running from Los Angeles to New York… and back. If we only recycle one-tenth of the cans we now throw away, we’d save about 3.2 billion of them every year. The average American throws out about 61 lbs. of tin cans every month.
About 70% of all metal is used just once and then discarded. The remaining 30% is recycled. After 5 cycles, 0.25% of the metal remains in circulation.
It is un-recyclable- you can’t make it into new Styrofoam. The industry wants you to assume it is- don’t BUY it!
Each year American throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups, enough every year to circle the earth 436 times.
Tires and Rubber
It takes half a barrel of crude oil to produce the rubber for just one truck tire.
Every two weeks, Americans wear almost 50 million pounds of rubber off their tires. That’s enough to make 3 1/4 million new tires from scratch.
Producing one pound of recycled rubber versus one pound of new rubber requires only 29% of the energy.
Washing machines use about 15% of your house’s water. Each wash cycle uses 32 to 59 gallons- as much as two showers.
A standard shower head uses about 5-7 gallons of water per minute (gpm)- so even a 5-minute shower can consume 35 gallons!
“Low-flow” shower heads help reduce water use by 50% or more. They typically cut the flow rate to 2.5 gpm- or less.
Water pumping is one of the largest uses of electricity in the arid Western states. So every drop of water we conserve also saves electricity
Turn off the water faucet when brushing your teeth. This simple act can save 9 gallons of water every time you brush.
The normal faucet flow is 3-5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). By attaching a low flow faucet aerator, you can reduce the flow by 50%. Incredibly, although the flow is reduced, it will seem stronger because air is mixed into the water as it leaves the tap.
40% of the pure water you use in your house is flushed down the toilet.
If a family of four takes 5-minute showers each day, they will use more than 700 gallons of water every week–the equivalent of a three-year supply of drinking water for one person.