SEP 10, 2017 02:59 PM PDT

What if we all lived like Americans?


Maybe you're wondering if we'd even survive if we all lived like Americans - i.e. consumed as much as we do, and emitted as much waste as we do. The average American produces 1609 pounds of trash every year, 1200 pounds of which is organic waste. Could the world support such incessant behavior? Looking at the numbers, the answer is likely not, given that America alone generates 40% of the world's waste. That means that if everyone consumed and got rid of as much food and stuff as we do...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty and it wouldn't last long.

Another way to measure the American lifestyle is by seeing how many global hectares each American averages. A global hectare measures how much land, sea, and other resources are needed to produce what each person consumes per year; for example, their food, clothing, or material purchases. The average person in the world uses 2.7 global hectares per year; meanwhile, the average American uses 6.8 global hectares per year. That doesn't look too good, either.

But there are other factors to think about, too. For example, if everyone lived like Americans, we'd all be having a lot more sex (Americans have sex the most frequent, after the French, tallying up to an average of 139 times a year). And a lot of people would live longer, too. To learn more, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
OCT 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 03, 2018
These Weird Fish Live in Some of the Deepest Parts of the Ocean
While animal researchers are reasonably well-rounded about the types of species residing at mild depths, we still have a lot to learn about what inhabits t...
OCT 04, 2018
Videos
OCT 04, 2018
Cannabis and Its Fight Against Cancer
Cannabis is known to treat nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. Most recent studies have revealed that THC and other cannabinoids are able to slow...
OCT 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 10, 2018
OnSight Lets Scientists Study the Martian Surface with Virtual Reality
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been physically exploring the surface of Mars since 2012, but as it rolls along, it sends surface data back to scientists...
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
The mystery behind why eating healthy is so expensive
Did you know that 36.5% of adults in the US are obese and 9.4% of the US has diabetes? It's not a secret that it's cheaper to buy unhealthy food th...
OCT 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 15, 2018
Picking a Landing Site On Mars is No Easy Task
When space agencies like NASA send landers and rovers to other places in the solar system to explore, one of the most challenging questions they’re c...
OCT 16, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 16, 2018
The Science Behind Whacking Your 'Funny Bone'
If you’ve ever smacked your elbow in just the right way, then you might’ve felt a sensation comparable to pins and needles moving up your arm a...
Loading Comments...