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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

Why to Go Green: By the Numbers

Source: Treehugger

You’ve probably noticed that green is everywhere these days–in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology. You can hardly escape it on the Internet, and now with the Planet Green TV network, you can even enjoy eco-friendly entertainment 24 hours a day. That’s all great as far as we’re concerned, but with a million messages and ideas coming at us from all sides, it can be easy to get caught up in the quotidian stuff–switching to organic foods, turning down the thermostat, recycling, say — without thinking about the big picture of how your actions stack up. Worse, you could even be suffering from a little green “fatigue” — that is, tuning out the green messages due to their ubiquity.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it’s also simple to begin making a positive impact. Since it’s helpful to understand the big picture when it comes to setting to smaller goals, we’ve adjusted our focus for this guide–a departure from our typical “how to go green” content, which typically tackles very specific topics such as kitchens, cars, or pets — to take a broader look at the reasons behind why we should go green.

As globalization makes the world become smaller, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people (and plants and animals and ecosystems) everywhere are closely synced up with one another. So toys made in China can affect the quality of life in Europe, pesticides used in Argentina can affect the health of people in the U.S., and greenhouse gas emissions from Australia can affect a diminishing rainforest in Brazil.

The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet — good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices and, therefore, the impact you create: from where you live to what you buy, eat, and use to light your home to where and how you vacation, to how you shop or vote, you can have global impact. For example, did you know that 25 percent of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from flora that come from the Amazon rainforest? And that less that one percent of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists? These numbers suggest that we all have a large (and growing) personal stake in the health and vitality of places far and near. In addition to protecting biodiversity (and inspiring medicine), rainforests are also excellent carbon sinks. Bottom line: It benefits everyone on the planet to help keep our wild spaces alive and growing.

But embracing a greener lifestyle isn’t just about helping to preserve equatorial rain forests, it can also mean improving your health, padding your bank account, and, ultimately, improving your overall quality of life.

  • 1 pound per hour: the amount of carbon dioxide that is saved from entering the atmosphere for every kilowatt-hour of renewable energy produced.
  • 60 percent: the reduction in developmental problems in children in China who were born after a coal-burning power plant closed in 2006.
  • 35 percent: the amount of coal’s energy that is actually converted to electricity in a coal-burning power plant. The other two-thirds is lost to heat.
  • 2.5 percent: the percentage of humans’ carbon dioxide emission produced by air travel now, still making it the largest transportation-related greenhouse gas emitter.
  • 5 percent: the percentage of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions expected to be produced by air travel by the year 2050.
  • 1.5 acres: the amount of rainforest lost every second to land development and deforestation, with tremendous losses to habitat and biodiversity.
  • 137: the number of plant, animal and insect species lost every day to rainforest deforestation, equating to roughly 50,000 species per year.
  • 4 pounds, 6 ounces: the amount of cosmetics that can be absorbed through the skin of a woman who wears makeup every day, over the period of one year.
  • 61 percent: the percentage of women’s lipstick, out of the 33 tested, found to contain lead in a test by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
  • 36: the number of U.S. states that are anticipating local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013.
  • 1 out of 100: the number of U.S. households that would need to be retrofitted with water-efficient appliances to realize annual savings of 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 3 trillion: the number of gallons of water, along with $18 billion, the U.S. would save each year if every household invested in water-saving appliances.
  • 64 million tons: the amount of material prevented from going to landfill or incineration thanks to recycling and composting in 1999.
  • 95 percent: the amount of energy saved by recycling an aluminum can versus creating the can from virgin aluminum. 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 one year alone are enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.
  • 113,204: the number, on average, of aluminum cans recycled each minute of each day.
  • 3: the number of hours a television set can run on the energy saved from recycling just one aluminum can.
  • 40 percent: the percentage of energy saved by recycling newsprint over producing it from virgin materials.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Environmental Health Perspectives, Raintree Nutrition, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPA Water and EPA Recycling, Worldwatch Institute, Energy Information Administration, Ready, Set, Green, Earth911.org, The Telegraph, Yahoo! NewsBack To Top Λ