Re: Running the Numbers
Ever since I took this one physics class, the prof taught us to check the numbers in news articles, so here goes. We're going to assume the population of the greatest country in the world is 300 million.
410,000 paper cups used every 15 minutes
(24 hours)(60 minutes)/(15 minutes)=(96 15 minute periods in a day)(410,000 paper cups)=39,360,000 paper cups in a 24 hour period.
Thats 1 paper cup for every 7.69 people.
2,000,000 plastic beverage bottles used every 15 minutes. Again there are 96 15 minute periods in 24 hours.
Thats 192,000,000 plastic beverage bottles in a 24 hour period. 300/192 is 1 bottle per 1.56 people.
11,000 commercial flights every 8 hours. (24 hours)/(8 hours)=3 periods. (11000)(3)=33,000 flights in a 24 hour period.
That's 1 flight for every 9,090 people.
426,000 cell phones "retired" every day.
That's 1 retired cell phone for every 704 people daily.
1,140,000 brown paper supermarket bags used every hour. This number should go up some since Austin banned plastic supermarket bags even though it takes more oil and energy to produce a paper bag. Oh yeah, it kills trees too and they break on you easier.
1 paper bag per 10.96 people.
106,000 aluminum cans used every 30 seconds
(24 hours)(3600)/(30)=(2880 periods)(106,000 cans)=305,280,000cans.
Thats 1.0176 cans for every 1 person. If we all got 5 cents per can, then we'd get an extra $18.52 every year. I remember living in Kansas in the early 90s. I was about 6 or 7 years old and we recycled cans cause they gave us money. We moved to Texas and continued storing our cans till we went to the recycling place one day and discovered they don't pay for cans in Texas. Maybe it was just a city thing and not a state thing? Who knows.
60,000 plastic bags used every five seconds.
(24)(3600)/(5)=(17,280 periods)(60,000)=1,036,800,000 bags used in a day.
That's 3.456 plastic bags per person every day.
15,000,000 sheets of office paper every five minutes
(24 hours)(60 minutes)/(5 minutes)=(288 periods)(15,000,000)=4,320,000,000 pieces of office paper a day.
That's 14.4 sheets of office paper per person. Definitely signs of a prosperous nation.
38,000 shipping containers, the number processed through American ports every 12 hours. 76,000 shipping containers a day.
Thats 1 shipping container per 3,947 people.
So that's how all the numbers stack up, what sounds reasonable and what doesn't?