SEP 10, 2017 02:59 PM PDT

What if we all lived like Americans?

3 10 586

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
JUL 24, 2018
Videos
JUL 24, 2018
A wave of plastic is washing over the DR
Footage from a video taken by “Parley for the Ocean” on July 14, 2018, shows an actual wave of plastic washing over the shores of Santo Domingo
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
Which is More Damaging to Your Health, Alcohol or Weed?
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal government, making it a challenger for scientists to conduct further studies and gather stat
AUG 08, 2018
Videos
AUG 08, 2018
A Harbinger of Hope for Alzheimer's Patients?
The search for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease is ongoing, but overall, hasn’t been productive. Many companies, like pharmaceutica
AUG 09, 2018
Videos
AUG 09, 2018
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Especially during a long hot summer, staying hydrated is essential. Dehydration can have severe consequences in children, the elderly and those with immune
AUG 09, 2018
Videos
AUG 09, 2018
History of Cannabis
The video above explains a brief overview on the history of cannabis and how the federal government, the states, and the general public have all made an im
Loading Comments...