Americans Consume An Astounding Amount

Tuesday, March 22, 2008, is the 38th anniversary of Earth Day.

We’re all lucky to enjoy the natural beauty of San Diego but just how long will we be able to enjoy places like this?

And, how can you be part of the solution?

It starts by looking at our everyday lives, at our human footprint.

We consume and waste an amazing amount.

For example, Americans throw out 18 billion disposable diapers each year.

That’s enough to stretch around the world 90 times.

That's part of the reason an American at age 1 already has a bigger carbon footprint than a Tanzanian will in a lifetime.

Here are some other interesting statistics.

Americans toss out 60 million plastic bottles every day.

In your lifetime, if you are an average American, you will drink 13,056 pints of milk.

Like soft drinks? You'll consume 43,371 sodas and then toss the cans.

Each of us will send 64 tons of garbage to the dump.

On average, each of us will buy 7 washing machines, 5 refrigerators and 7 air conditioners.

You’ll take 28,433 showers in your lifetime which will use 700 thousand gallons of water.

It takes, on average, some 64 trees to provide the wood in your home.

That’s enough timber to stretch across the Brooklyn Bridge and back.

156 million Americans use a cell phone. 426,000 of them are disposed of every day. Few are ever recycled and the waste doesn't end there.

Plastic bags take 1 thousand years to degrade. The average American uses 18,306 shopping bags in our lifetime... the average amount of time we use them -- just 30 minutes.

Last year, the United States produced enough plastic to shrink wrap Texas.

To make enough diapers for one American toddler for 2 and 1/2 years takes 19 hundred pints of crude oil and the pulp of 4 and 1/2 trees.

Americans make up just 5% of the world population, but we use more resources then any other nation. If everyone else on Earth lived like we do, we would need four planets to supply the resources and store the massive amount of waste.

Print this article Back to Top