The Earth is an amazing place!
Our world is a truly beautiful planet that has sustained every living thing on it for billions of years. Mankind’s short stay on earth so far has done it much damage. And yet we still have a chance to change our habits and start repairing what we have broken to leave it a fit place to live for many generations to come.
Remember. We didn’t inherit this planet from our parents. We’re just borrowing it from our children.
Today, in the 21st Century, people are waking up to the facts and are slowly becoming more aware of the needs of our environment. Many are showing signs of willingness to make a change. When we talk about the environment, we mean everything around us, not just the weather. It includes all the animals, plants, and human beings living on the planet.
Here are some startling facts about our environment in the 21st Century.
At least 17 trees will have to be cut down and 20,000 gallons of water is contaminated in order to produce a ton of toilet paper.
Worldwide, about 27,000 trees are cut down each day so we can have Toilet Paper.
American companies alone use enough paper to encircle the Earth 3 times! But the great news is that many more businesses every year are moving towards going paperless.
We can save 75,000 trees if we recycled the paper used on the daily run of the New York Times alone.
Aluminium can be recycled continuously – forever. Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run your TV for at least 3 hours. 80 trillion aluminium cans are used by humans every year.
If you are someone who throws away plastic bags and other plastic materials irresponsibly, you should know that many of these end up in the ocean, killing as many as one million sea creatures annually.
A glass bottle made in our time will take more than 4,000 years to decompose.
Only 1% of our planet’s water supply can be used. 97% is ocean water and 2% is frozen solid in the Arctic, for now. But water is vital to sustain life and our planet gains as many as 77 million new inhabitants every year.
More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest. More than half of the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests.
One-fifth of the world’s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin. But at the current rate of destruction the world’s rainforests might not survive the next few decades.
And an estimated 50,000 species inhabiting our tropical forests become extinct annually – including plants and animals. That’s an average of 137 species a day – and any one of those lost plants could have been the source for a cure for one of mankind’s killer diseases.
Today at least 25% of prescription medicines originate from plants in the rainforest.
Prochlorococcus and other ocean phytoplankton are responsible for 70% of Earth’s oxygen production. However, some scientists believe that phytoplankton levels have declined by 40% since 1950 due to the warming of the ocean. Ocean temperature impacts the number of phytoplankton in the ocean.
Within a few short decades, industrial fishing has expanded from the traditional fishing grounds of the Northern Hemisphere to include all the world’s oceans and seas. Many stocks – possibly even as much as 70% globally – have been overexploited and are depleted. And yet nearly 40% of the world’s population – approximately three billion people – rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide.
But the situation is not without hope. Some countries have shown that fish stocks can in fact recover when sustainable fisheries management systems are implemented.
We know so little about our world. If you go for a walk in the woods and bend down to scoop up a handful of earth, you’ll be holding billions of bacteria in your hand. Over 97% of these will have never been discovered or studied – and any one of those could be the cure for one of mankind’s killer diseases.
Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute. But some of the world’s oldest trees are more than 4,600 years old.
Landfills are composed of 35% packaging materials.