It’s a Fact
1. Over 100 million drink cans are sold in Ireland every year. You can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make a new one.
2. Recycling one tonne of cardboard can save sixteen trees from being cut down.
3. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100 watt light bulb for four hours
4. Glass is 100% recyclable. A glass bottle can be recycled time and time again into another glass bottle or product, without any loss of quality. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
5. Tetrapak Cartons are made from the following materials: 75-80% paperboard, 15-20% polyethylene and 5% aluminium. 100% of these materials can be recycled or recovered.
6. 27,000 trees are cut down each year so that we can have toilet paper.
7. Aluminium can be recycled continuously, as in forever. Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run our TV for at least three hours.
8. Each consumer in Ireland dumps about 80Kg of food waste a year.
9. 50% of our salads and 25% of our fruit and vegetables are binned daily.
10. More than one million tonnes of food waste is disposed of each year in Ireland. About a third of this comes from households.
11. Only 1% of our planet’s water supply can be used. 97% is ocean water and 2% is frozen solid.
12. Every day, up to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat is impacted by human activities.
13. Landfills are composed of 35% packaging materials
14. Each of us takes in almost 2,000 particles of plastic every week through inhalation, drinking water and beer, or consuming fish and salt. (WWF statistics)
15. Plastic bags and other plastic materials in the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures annually
16. More than 700 million people around the world do not have access to clean water because of pollution and sanitation problems.
17. Greenhouse gases include methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour, which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Without them, the Earth would be too cold to support life. The effects of excessive greenhouse gases is global warming. Due to global warming, average sea levels are expected to rise from 1 to 6 feet before the century ends.
18. Are farmers responsible for more widespread use of chemicals than other sectors of the community? Not by a long way! Chemicals used at home amount to 10 times more per acre than in farming.
19. An estimated 250 million trees can be saved each year if every published newspaper is recycled.
20. Recycling one tonne of cardboard can save sixteen trees from being cut down.
21. Burning one gallon of petrol creates 22 pounds of carbon dioxide (Hard to believe, but true!)
22. Our planet gains up to 77 million inhabitants a year
23. A cotton shopping bag must be used at least 131 times to have less impact on the environment than single-use bags
24. If the entire world’s Ice melted, our sea levels will rise by 66 meters
25. The world uses 160,000 plastic bags every second.
26. Humans throw away enough paper and wood each year to heat 50 million houses for 20 years.
27. The combined weight of the 100 trillion ants on Earth is greater than the combined weight of all 7 billion humans.
28. Automatic dishwashers use about 6 gallons of hot water per cycle (over 2,000 gallons per year), which is actually less than the water required to do dishes by hand.
29. If the entire world’s Ice melted, our sea levels will rise by 66 meters
30. Ireland is ranked worst in the EU for performance on climate change action.
31. On Thursday 1st August 2019, the Greenland ice sheet experienced its largest single-day volume loss on record, sending an estimated 12.5 billion tons of ice pouring into the ocean
32. Ireland is among the top 4 countries per capita in Europe for greenhouse gas emissions.
33. Ireland reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by just .2% in 2018, by producing 60.5 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. This was 5 million tonnes above target. Our agri and transport sectors are the highest producers of greenhouse gases, while household emissions increased by 7.9% which is among the largest increases across all sectors.
34. Poster at recent Young People’s Protest on Climate Change: “You’ll die of Old Age, We’ll die of Climate Change.”
35. 22,000 disposable coffee and tea cups are used every hour in Ireland.
36. We have been behaving for a century and a half as if carbon dioxide didn’t matter. We have pumped more and more of it into the atmosphere to power our factories, our homes, our cars, food production and every single aspect of our lives. Carbon Dioxide is colourless. It is odourless. It is tasteless. But it can be lethal.
37. 300,000 tonnes of plastic are produced in Ireland each year. About a third of this is recycled.
38. The United Nations estimate that land-based sources account for up to 80% of the world’s marine pollution, almost 90% of the waste being plastic debris.
39. We generate an extra 30% of rubbish at Christmas time.
40. The EU has set a target of reducing the level of carbon emissions by 50% before 2030 and to reach zero carbon by 2050.
41. It is estimated that most landfills contain one third recyclable packaging material, all of which could be recycled.
42. “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
43. Over 30% of all garbage thrown away could go to better use in composting.
44. Almost one billion people don’t have enough to eat.
45. On average, people buy three new electronic devices each year. Remember to recycle or sell your old devices instead of throwing them in the waste bin.
46. 40% of drinking water comes from plastic bottles.
47. At the rate we are going, we need 1½ Earths to sustain our lifestyle. By 2030, we will need 2 Earths.
48. One toilet flush uses more than 3 gallons of water.
49. In 2017, Ireland broke the 1 million tonnes mark for packaging waste generated per annum. It has continued to grow since then.
50. 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity.
51. 70,000 tonnes of plastic bottles are used in Ireland each year. Only 40% of these are recycled.
52. House owners use chemicals that are 10 times more toxic per acre, than the amount used by farmers.
53. “There is an entire generation that has grown up without ever seeing a repair shop. They’ve never been to a cobblers and when something is broken, the only thing they know to do with it is throw it out and buy another one.” (Sean Cronin of the Zero Waste Alliance)
54. The average world temperature is now 14.8 degrees C. At the rate we are going, it is likely to increase by another 5 degrees by the end of this century.
55. The Spanish Flu of 1918 infected over 500 million people worldwide and more than 50 million died of the disease. It infected over 800,000 in Ireland and claimed 23,000 lives over a 12 month period.
56. Sustainability is about stabilising the currently disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems—human culture and the living world.
57. Figures published this week, on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, show that the past five years have been the hottest on record globally and that 2019 was Europe’s hottest year.
58. Paper can be recycled only six times. After that, the fibres are too weak to hold together.
59. The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
60. Pollution has killed millions of people. Increased levels of pollution cause weaker immune systems, making people more vulnerable to various diseases.
61. Honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
62. The average bee will make only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
63. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
64. A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during each collection trip in search of nectar.
65. The water in our lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and other surface water makes up 0.3% of our fresh water resource
66. There is more water vapour in the atmosphere than all the combined rivers on the planet.
67. Food scraps and other organic garbage creates methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide.
68. Over a quarter of the “recycled” material which arrives at recycling plants from our recycling bins does not belong there. Glass metal, wood, textiles, food and garden waste and hazardous waste all should be in other bins or brought to a separate collection.
69. Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste (per capita) in Europe, generating an average of 61kgs per person every year – almost double what the UK produces.
70. As the top producers of plastic waste in Europe, we produce the equivalent of nearly 2,000 water bottles, or 5,550 disposal coffee cups, per person per year in Ireland.
71. There’s more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now than at any time in human history. The last time Earth’s atmosphere contained as much CO2 was more than three million years ago, when sea levels were several metres higher and trees grew at the South Pole.
72. Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million people worldwide.
73. Children contribute to only 10% of the world’s pollution but are prone to 40% of global diseases.
74. We now produce nearly 300 million tons of plastic worldwide every year, half of which is for single use, after which it is thrown away. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year. Plastic is a valuable resource but plastic pollution is an unnecessary and unsustainable waste of that resource.
75. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, as of May 2020, is the highest it has been in human history
76. Ireland has the third worst emissions of greenhouse gases per capita in the EU, the equivalent of 13.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita. Estonia and Luxembourg have the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in 2018 at 15.3 and 20.5 tonnes respectively. Sweden has the lowest rate of emissions 2018 at 5.4 tonnes per capita.
77. The Living Planet Index, which tracks the abundance globally of 4,392 species of wildlife (mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and amphibians) shows that wildlife populations have declined in size by an average of 68% over the past 50 years.
78. In 2017 Ireland had the worst level of emissions of nitrogen oxides in the EU, at 70 per cent. Nitrogen oxides are typically produced from vehicle exhausts, and the burning of coal, oil, diesel fuel and natural gas.
79. The Ice in Antarctica is as much as the water in the Atlantic Ocean.
80. About one third of the Earth’s land surface is covered by deserts, or partial deserts.
81. September 2020 was the warmest on record globally, according to the weather service Copernicus. It was 0.05C hotter than September last year, which in turn set the previous record high for the month.
82. Every year an estimated 12.6 million people die as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment.
83. The five warmest years in the period 1880–2019 have all occurred since 2015.
84. 27% of households with children, worldwide, are ‘food insecure’
85. Farmers are using ducks instead of pesticides! Who needs chemicals when you have hungry ducks? In many parts of the world, such as France and Japan, ducks are used as a natural form of pest control. They are regularly found in rice paddies, for example, eating their way through insects that infect crops.
86. North Korea and Cuba are the only places you can’t buy Coca-Cola.
87. As our world gets warmer, the intensity of natural disasters increases.
88. 70% of households in county Tipperary avail of waste collection. 56% use a 3 bin service (recycling, organic and general waste) – figures from Tipperary County Council
89. About one third of the Earth’s land surface is covered by deserts, or partial deserts.
90. 175 tonnes of clothing has been collected form textile banks in Co Tipperary in 2020 to date (end of November)
91. There was a 35% increase in the amount of organic waste collected from Tipperary households in 2019.
92. Almost 60% of life on Earth is found underneath the ocean’s surface.
93. The year 2020 created many records. The USA suffered from both a record-breaking hurricane season and a record-breaking fire season costing at least $50bn. The consequences of a warming world were felt in Siberia when temperatures reached 380C. Heat and drought drove terrible fires in many parts of the world with a devastating impact on biodiversity and the planet’s capacity to absorb carbon.
94. The year 2020 created many weather records in Ireland: Temperatures averaged 10.40C for the year, that is 0.830C above the long-term average; Rainfall in February was more than two and a half times the normal amount expected for that month; We had little or no rain during March, April and May, but we had above average rainfall over the course of the whole year; In August, the all-time record for wind was broken for that month with a wind speed of 110km/p/h at Roches Point. As the earth heats up and the atmosphere gets warmer, we can expect to see heavier rainfall events during the winter and drier, warmer periods during spring and summer.
95. There are more living things in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on Earth.
96. The average person produces about 50,000 pints of saliva in a lifetime. That’s about enough to fill two swimming pools.