As Canadians, my wife and I have been guilty of consuming more than our fair share. Even with the green initiative we created called Our Green Year, we know that while we have lowered our consumption by 90 percent, we still consume more than most of the world’s population. Now, as my wife and I came across some startling statistics to do with consumption, it becomes evident that it is nearly impossible to escape a civilization that is built on disposable items and consumerism.
These statistics are eye-openers when you think about them, and hopefully they can help you lower how much you consume on a regular basis.
- The average baby uses 10,000 diapers before being toilet
trained. Each year, 1,000,000,000 trees go to the use of making diapers.
the age of six months, the average Canadian consumes the same amount of
resources as a person in the developing world does in their entire
- North America has eight percent of the world’s
population, consumes 33 percent of the world’s resources, and produces
half of the world’s non-organic garbage.
- Only one percent of all the water on Earth is usable. Only two percent is in the poles, the rest is in the oceans.
- One ton of newspapers can be recycled to save 19 trees.
- The average North American throws away 600 times their weight in garbage during their life.
produce seven million tons of organic waste each year, 66 percent of
which is compostable. In fact 70 percent of all landfill waste is
recyclable or re-usable, and 35 percent of municipal solid waste is
The good news is that we can all change if we want to, and all it takes is realizing how much you consume and changing your life so that you can recycle, re-use, compost and limit the packaging you buy. It is not hard, but it is a long road. My wife and I began our own long road of lowing our consumption six months ago, and now we throw away much less, recycle much more and feel good that while we are only two people, we are doing our part to help the world and improve the environment, one piece of trash at a time.