Home > Global news > Consumption in the United States

Consumption in the United States

http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Americans-Consume-24percent.htm

In the United States:

Reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken.
  • Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.
  • On average, one American consumes as much energy as
    • 2 Japanese
    • 6 Mexicans
    • 13 Chinese
    • 31 Indians
    • 128 Bangladeshis
    • 307 Tanzanians
    • 370 Ethiopians

     

  • The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people – the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California – by the year 2050.
  • Forty percent of births are unintended.
  • Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that’s roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.
  • Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
  • The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
  • The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world’s population lives on 25 gallons.
  • Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.
  • Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.
  • Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.
  • Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.
  • There are more shopping malls than high schools.

Percent of World Total

  United States
  Developed Countries
  Undeveloped Countries

Other Facts:

  • 250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.
  • 700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don’t get enough food to support normal daily activities
  • Africa now produces 27% less food per capita than in 1964.
  • 1.7 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and by the year 2000, the number of urban dwellers without access to safe water and sanitation services is expected to grow by 80%.
  • 0.1% of pesticides applied to crops reaches the pest, the rest poisons the ecosystem.
  • Each year 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides in less developed countries, and over 20,000 die.
  • One-third of the world’s fish catch and more than one-third of the world’s total grain output is fed to livestock.
  • It takes an average of 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat in modern Western farming systems. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.
  • Each person in the industrialized world uses as much commercial energy as 10 people in the developing world.

source: Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb / PBS [the PBS website is defunct but the book by the same name is available]

 

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: