1. The average American consumes five times more energy than the average global citizen or 10 times more than the typical Chinese.
If the typical Chinese consumer used as much oil as the average American uses, China would require 90 million barrels per day—11 million more than the entire world produced each day in 2001.
2. Today, transportation is the world’s fastest-growing form of energy use, accounting for nearly 30 percent of world energy use and 95 percent of global oil consumption.
The most significant driver of rising energy consumption for transportation is growing reliance on the private car. About one fourth of those cars are found on U.S. roads.
West Europeans now use public transit for 10 percent of all urban trips, and Canadians for 7 percent, compared with Americans at only 2 percent.
3. It takes less gasoline to restart your car than it does to let it idle for more than a minute. If all the cars on US roads had properly inflated tires, it would save an estimated 2 billion gallons of gasoline per year and improve your gas mileage 3-7%.
University of ColoradoEnvironmental Center, 2003
4. If every car carried one more passenger during its daily commute, 32 million gallons of gasoline would be saved each day.
Natural Resources Defense Council, 2003
5. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.
U.S Dept. of Energy
6. Worldwide, people use about a third of all energy in buildings—for heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, and running appliances. As homes become bigger, each individual house uses more energy. The average new American homes grew nearly 38 percent between 1975 and 2000, to 2,265 square feet—twice the size of typical homes in Europe or Japan and 26 times the living space of the average person in Africa.
7. Indoor lighting use is highest during the hours of 9 to 5, even though the light bulb was invented to help us see in the dark.
University of Colorado Environmental Center, 2003
8. Global wind power capacity jumped 24 percent in 2005, to nearly 60,000 megawatts. The growth in wind power capacity was nearly four times the growth in nuclear power capacity.
9. In 2005, worldwide production of photovoltaic cells jumped 45 percent to nearly 1,730 megawatts, six times the level in 2000
10.Between 1850 and 1970, the number of people living on Earth more than tripled—yet the energy they consumed rose 12-fold.
11.Today the planet adds 77 million people each year, the equivalent of 10 New York Cities.
Worldwatch Institute, 2002
12.The population grows as much every three days as it did every century, on average, for most of the last one-thousand centuries before the Industrial Revolution.
13.Industrialized countries, such as the US, represent only 20% of the world’s population. However, they consume 80% of the world’s resources, 85% of the world’s forest products, 75% of the world’s energy and produce 75% of the world’s pollution and waste.
Trash to Cash, 1996
14.Percentage of energy saved by using recycled instead of raw materials to manufacture:
40% glass 40% newspaper
60% steel 70% plastics
95% aluminum (75% when recycled back into aluminum beverage cans)
Natural Resources Defense Council, Aluminum Association
15.Replacing one wasted can requires the energy equivalent to light a 100-watt light bulb for 5 hours or to power the average laptop computer for 11 hours.
Container Recycling Institute, 2001
16.The energy saved each year by steel recycling is equal to the electrical power used annually by 18 million homes—or enough energy to last Los Angeles residents for eight years.
Steel Recycling Institute, 2003
17.Glass can be recycled again and again with no loss in quality or purity. Glass containers go from recycling bin to store shelf in as little as 30 days—again and again.
The Glass Packaging Institute
18.Extracting and processing petroleum into common plastic containers (polyethylene terephthalate, PET, and high-density polyethylene, HDPE) takes four to eight times more energy than making plastics from recycled plastics.
GRRN, Wasting and Recycling in the United States, 2000
CLIMATE CHANGE, AIR & THE ENVIRONMENT
19.The average global temperature in 2005 was 14.6 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest year ever recorded on Earth’s surface. The five warmest years since recordkeeping began in 1880 have all occurred since 1998.
20.Economic damages from weather-related disasters hit an unprecedented $204 billion in 2005, nearly doubling the previous record of $112 set in 1998
21.75% of China's energy production is from burning coal.
China is set to overtake the US (at 21%) as the biggest producer of greenhouse gases by 2025 unless current trends are modified.
World Wildlife Found
22.A single mower puts out more pollution than 73 new cars.
23.Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing 5% of the nation's air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas.
Environmental Protection Agency
24.The number of cars in the world increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent between 1980 and 1996, faster than the annual rate of population growth during those years.
AAA Atlas of Population and Environment, 2001