Did you know? - P2 Facts


Green Engineering


Did you know?

  • “Meet need, minimize excess” is one of the pillars of green engineering.ESRC-png-P2-Facts-Icon
  • Environmental engineering uses life-cycle thinking to promote products that are recyclable and biodegradable.
  • Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of our total energy consumption – 60 percent of our electricity alone. As a point of reference, transportation – including cars, buses, trains, etc. – comprise only 27 percent.
  • In the U.S., 5.6 million commercial buildings covered 87 billion square feet of floor space in 2012—an increase of 46 percent in number of buildings and 71 percent in floor space since 1979.
  • In 1800, 2 percent of the world’s population lived in cities – now it’s 50 percent.
  • Americans throw away about 28 billion bottles and jars every year.
  • Globally, 968 million smartphones, which have capabilities similar to a computer, were sold globally in 2013, up from 174 million in 2009.

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Green Chemistry


Did you know?

  • Within 26 seconds after exposure to chemicals such as those found in cleaning products, traces of these chemicals can be found in every organ in the body.
  • More than 2,700 household and industrial cleaning products carry the EPA’s Design for Environment logo, which ensures that the product is harmful neither to personal health nor to the environment.
  • To reward and celebrate significant achievements in Green Chemistry, the U.S. has given out the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award since 1996.
  • Estimates indicate that the weight of chemicals and fossil fuels required to make a computer chip is 630 times the weight of the chip.
  • Only about 4 percent of global oil production is used for plastics.  87 percent is used for transport, energy and heating and is burned and lost. Eighty-seven percent of oil we use is incinerated!

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Energy Efficiency


Did you know?

  • Electrical outages and blackouts cost the U.S. $150 billion each year.
  • ENERGY STAR estimates that the total energy used in the U.S. each year is 95 quadrillion Btu.
  • ENERGY STAR estimates that 30 percent of the energy used in buildings is inefficient or unnecessary.
  • If the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by 10 percent, the collected savings would be about $40 billion.
  • In the U.S., home refrigerators use the same amount of electricity as 25 large power plants each year.
  • Using an automatic dishwasher instead of washing by hand can save 2,000 gallons of hot water per year.
  • ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 70 percent less energy and 75 percent less water than washers from 20 years ago.

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Renewable Energy Sources


Did you know?

  • According to data from 2010, the states that generate the most electricity from renewable sources in the U.S. are Washington, California, and Oregon.
  • In 2010, 260 gigawatthours of electricity were generated from hydropower, the most of any renewable resource. 94 gigawatthours were generated from wind power, the second highest.
  • The five states with the most solar and wind installed capacity have actually had the lowest rise in electricity prices from 2005 to 2010. Rate increases in these states were 1.35 cents over five years, against the national average of 1.8 cents.
  • Renewable energy sources provide 34.2 percent of Denmark’s total capacity for electricity generation, the highest rate in the world.
  • Renewable energy accounts for 25 percent of global energy use.
  • Biomass is only considered a renewable energy resource if it is managed sustainably. This means that it must be replenished faster than it is consumed.

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Green Jobs


Did you know?

  • Renewable energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels. According to Clean Technica, “a national study showed that job creation in clean energy outdoes fossil fuels by a margin of 3-to-1 — every dollar put into clean energy creates three times as many jobs as putting that same dollar into oil and gas.”
  • In 2011, there were 3.4 million Green Goods and Services jobs, comprising 2.6 percent of total employment in the United States.
  • The highest number of green jobs can be found in the manufacturing and construction industries, where a combined total of nearly one million people are employed.
  • Organic farming requires 2.5 times more labor than conventional farming, but can bring in 10 times as much profit.
  • As of 2011, the renewable energy industry provided between 850,000 and 950,000 jobs in the United States.
  •  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 73 percent of green jobs are found in the private sector.

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Lower Costs


Did you know?

  • Under the Pollution Prevention Act, recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal are not included within the definition of pollution prevention, however, recycling that is conducted in an environmentally sound manner shares many of the advantages of prevention – it can reduce the need for treatment or disposal, and conserve energy and resources.
  • WaterSense fixtures and ENERGY STAR appliances can save the average family $350 off of a $1,100 yearly water bill.
  • Taking measures to improve gas mileage can result in savings. Keeping your car tires properly inflated can save you up to $0.11/gallon and keeping your engine tuned can save you up to $0.14/gallon.
  • Obtaining LEED certification for a building can reduce energy and water bills by up to 40 percent.
  • Operational costs as a whole for LEED Gold buildings are 34 percent less than the national average for commercial real estate.
  • Using the sleep mode or power management feature on your computer can save you up to $30 per year on your electricity bill.

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