Eco Facts

How many trees are cut down each year? 
In a year 2005 statistics, primary forest area (as opposed to plantations) was reduced globally by 60,000 square kilometers per year (about the size of Ireland; see: http://www.greenfacts.org/en/forests/index.htm#2). Note that this data is incomplete due to a lack of available data from many countries who do not monitor such change. As to the “number of trees” this represents, it’s impossible to get an accurate count. Tree density in primary forests varies from 50,000-100,000 trees per square km, so the math would put this number at 3 billion to 6 billion trees per year. 
 
How much a styrofoam cup can harm? 
A styrofoam (polystyrene) cup contains one billion billion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) molecules - a class of chemical compounds that deplete ozone. Once a CFC molecule reaches the ozone layer, it can take over 100 years before it breaks up and becomes harmless! 
 
How much CO2 can a car emit monthly? 
On average, a car produces about 170g CO2 per kilometer. If your car travels 2000 kilometers per month, it produces about 340 kilograms CO2 - that's a lot of gas! 
 
How much household waste can be recycled? 
Over 80% of typical household waste--including food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles--can be recycled / reused / composted. 
 
How much recyclable materials get thrown away? 
Paper is the number one recyclable material that we throw away. For every 100 pounds of trash we throw away, 35 pounds is paper. Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year, 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year, and 38 billion plastic bags. Placed end to end, they would reach to the moon and back hundreds of times. 
 
How much water do ice caps and glaciers hold? 
The amount of water locked up in ice and snow is only about 1.7 percent of all water on Earth, but the majority of total freshwater on Earth, about 68.7%, is held in ice caps and glaciers. 
 
Ice and glaciers come and go. 
The climate, on a global scale, is always changing, although usually not at a rate fast enough for people to notice. There have been many warm periods, such as when the dinosaurs lived (about 100 million years ago) and many cold periods, such as the last ice age of about 18,000 years ago. During the last ice age much of the northern hemisphere was covered in ice and glaciers, and, as this map from the University of Arizona shows, they covered nearly all of Canada, much of northern Asia and Europe, and extended well into the United States. 
 

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