I think we have all come to the realization that America consumes way more of the world's "stuff" than the people we account for. Americans make up for roughly 5% of the world's population, but we consume much more than that. We use 20% of the world's energy, eat 15% of the world's meat and create 40% of the garbage on Earth.
One American consumes as much energy as:
· The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people - the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California - by the year 2050.
· Forty percent of births are unintended.
· Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day - that's roughly 200 billion more than needed - enough to feed 80 million people.
· Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
· The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
· The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons.
· Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.
· Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.
· Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.
· Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.
· There are more shopping malls than high schools.
In order to create the graphic above, the Global Footprint Network's 2011 estimates of the average "ecological footprint" of people from several countries were used. Then the footprint was multiplied by the total population of the world to figure out the amount of land needed. All land on Earth was accounted for except for Antarctica.
What does this mean? If everyone in the world lived like those in Bangladesh, we would only need the land mass of parts of Asia and Africa to sustain all of us. However, if everyone lived like Americans, we would need over 4 Earths to sustain our lifestyle. That is not even as bad as it gets. The United Arab Emirates are worse than America. We would need almost 5 and a half Earths to live the way we do. I think this graphic clearly shows that even though times are tough, America does have it pretty well compared to the rest of the world. 4 times better than average according to this. Perhaps this is why other parts of the world view Americans as "pigs."