(Fun and Interesting) Earth Day Facts
To inspire you to keep our planet healthy and green by understanding our impact on the environment
– The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, founded by then-Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. His biggest inspiration? Witnessing the aftermath of an oil spill
– Earth Day was recognized worldwide by 1990 and was renamed International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations in 2009
– 20 million Americans came out to support the first Earth Day, demonstrating, picking up garbage, having concerts and fundraisers and other civic-minded gatherings.
– Today over 1 billion people from around the world participate in Eath Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world
– In the U.S., nearly 200 billion beverage containers are sold every year. Only about 1/3 of them are recycled
– It only takes about 6 weeks to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle then remanufacture an aluminum soda can
– Recycling, reuse and remanufacturing account for 3.1 million jobs in the U.S.
– In 2006, about 76% of cardboard boxes and newspapers were recycled. Less than 50% of paper was
– More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the U.S each year
– The 1970s saw the passage of the most environmental legislation in U.S. history, including the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency
– In just one year, just one acre of mature trees absorbs the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide produced by driving a car 26,000 miles
– 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled and most of it doesn’t biodegrade. That means plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years
– 500 million plastic straws are used every day in America, enough to circle the earth twice
– Food scraps and yard waste make up about 30% of what we throw away. Much of it – like fruit and vegetable scraps, dead leaves and coffee grounds – can and should be composted.
– Compost enriches soil, retains moisture, deters pests and disease, encourages naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria that create nutrient-rich humus, reduces dependence on chemicals reduces harmful methane and lowers our carbon footprint (www.epa.gov)
And here are some of the earth-friendly changes we’ve made to our stores in recent years:
– All stores now recycle plastic shopping bags. Recycling bins are located near the front entrances.
– For each reusable bag customers bring in and use, 5 cents is deducted from their purchase. We also have reusable Adams bags for sale!
– Our Newburgh store installed 220 solar panels (a 50kw array) on their roof in 2009
– Our Wappinger store recently sold 145 bee hives that were pre-ordered by customers. These hives will help replenish the dwindling bee population.
– Our Product Departments are transitioning to plant-based fiber trays for their organic produce
– Our Poughkeepsie Cafe discontinued use of Styrofoam packaging