Jaw-Dropping Statistics

February 2nd, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

For inspiration to help develop an idea for a semester long project, my Mainstreaming Information class was asked to present three examples of “jaw-dropping” statistics that highlight a particularly surprising situation or trend. I think much can be said about the following shocking data that affect our planet both environmentally and socially:

The Basic Problem with Coffee Cups

  • Paper cup use in 2006 accounted for 4 billion gallons of water wasted, 6.5 million trees cut down, and 4,884 billion BTU’s of energy used.
  • At the University of Washington, a college of roughly 42 thousand students, the Housing and Food Services Department estimates that 5000 paper coffee cups are thrown away every school day.
  • Starbucks found that 1.9 billion cups were used by Starbucks in 2000. In 2006, Starbucks reported that this figure had grown to 2.3 billion cups for use at their stores.
  • Starbucks has begun to use cups made from 10% post-consumer materials, while the remaining 90% of the cup is composed of new paper releases methane, a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.
  • How often do we lie to others?

  • Most people lie to others once or twice a day and deceive about 30 people per week. The average is 7 times per hour if you count all the times people lie to themselves.
  • 75% of all lies are for admittedly selfish purposes with 25% told for allegedly unselfish purposes.
  • 35 percent of resumes contain lies
  • We lie in 30 to 38% of all our interactions
  • How much shower water does one person consume in a week?

  • One person can use almost 11,000 gallons a year if they take a 15 minute shower every day
  • You can save water by simply reducing the water flow from your hot or cold water faucets to regulate temperature instead of increasing the flow