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Earth Day Facts

Earth Day Facts to reduce, reuse, recycle, forest conservation and Tropical Rainforest Facts from Pampered Teacher

April is the month of spring showers, sunshine, and when trees and flowers begin to bloom again after a long winter. What better time to celebrate the Earth than in April! Earth Day is April 22nd and we should all be showing our appreciation and love for nature and the environment a little extra that day.

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the U.S and was recognized worldwide in 1990. We learn a lot about the beautiful planet that we live on and the others in our solar system in elementary and middle school science classes. However, I don’t think that enough time is spent in school talking about the environment, thriving and endangered animals and their different species, or ways to recycle and conserve our planet. In honor of Earth Day, here are some facts about those three things!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

The three R’s, while repetitive and overused sometimes, are terms that are so important to engrain in students young minds in school. If they see that these three things are important early on and why, they are much more likely to carry out these actions their entire life. These facts may help students take the three R’s more seriously!

  • Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree!
  • Every year manufacturers use 17 million barrels of crude oil to make the 29 billion single-use plastic water bottles Americans drink. If everyone in the U.S. switched over to using a reusable drinking container for one year, that would save enough crude oil to power a million cars for a year.
  • About 31% of all garbage produced consists of containers and packaging. Most of our garbage can be composted, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, or recycled, as in the case of paper, plastic, glass and metal.
  • It can take from 100 to 400 years for things like cloth and aluminum to decompose. Glass has been found in perfect condition after 4,000 years in the earth! 
  • 95% of water that enters the home goes down the drain daily. According to the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, between 60 and 65% of that water has the potential to be reused. 
  • Aluminum foil is 100% recyclable though the catch is that it is often filled with food waste that can lead to contamination. Did you you know that aluminum foil is also dishwasher safe, so just place it on the top rack and you will be left with clean, reusable foil sheets. 
  • It is better to reuse glass and recycle aluminum. Glass uses more fuel and contributes more greenhouse gases when recycled than an equivalent amount of aluminum.
  • Tropical Rainforest Facts

    Rainforests around the world are home to some of the most unique plants and animals in the world. Unfortunately, our rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Spreading awareness is very important in order to see change, and it should begin in elementary school. Here are some facts about rainforests and the animals in them:

      • About 1/4 of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests.
      • An area of a rainforest the size of a football field is being destroyed each second.
      • The loss of our forests contributes to between 12%-15% of all greenhouse gas emissions each year -- roughly the same percentage as all the world's planes, trains and automobiles. 
    • Rainforests are responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen production.
    • A lake inside a rainforest on the Caribbean island of Dominica sizzles at around 88°C. Challenge - what is the temperature in Fahrenheit?

    Forest Conservation

    After spreading awareness of the importance of rainforests and what is happening to them, it is important to discuss what we can do in our everyday lives to save the rainforests and the animals in them. Here are some things that we can all do:

  • Products containing palm oil are found in half of all processed foods in the US and in many common household products. Palm oil is a key contributor to rainforest deforestation because it is found in the fruits of trees in rainforests. 
  • The area of forest designated specifically for biodiversity conservation has increased significantly over the past 15 years. It now exceeds 11% of total forest area. 
  • Every year nearly 900,000,000 trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills. 
  • According to IUCN, the World Conservation Union, “80% of original forest that covered the earth 8000 years ago has been cleared, fragmented, or degraded by modern society”.

  • The Earth should be protected and treated with care every day, not just on Earth Day. Hopefully this Earth Day, you will be inspired by these facts and try to make a life change now that you are more informed about our planet! Spreading awareness and acting on these facts will be the way to change the world!

    How are you celebrating Go Green Week?

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