Top Five Fun Facts: April

Eric DesRoberts continues his monthly series of facts and tidbits he’s uncovered during his research to better understand products and packaging. You can also check out his past Fun Facts here.

1. A typical American is sedentary for 21 hours a day. An estimated 86% of Americans sit all day at work. Research shows that if people sat 3 hours less a day, it would add 2 years to the average life expectancy.

2. One gram of protein from bovine meat requires about 112 litres (~30 gal) of water. This figure increases to about 139 litres (37 gal) of water per gram of protein from nuts, and down to about 19 litres (5 gal) of water per gram of protein from pulses (grain legumes). Pair these foods with the options below and start to see your water footprint soar.

3. Microorganisms surround us. In the relatively desolate atmosphere at 1,000 feet, every cubic meter of air contains about a thousand microbes. Closer to the ground, that number increases to about 100,000, and on every square centimeter of human skin, its about 10 million. A teaspoon of dirt contains 50 billion microbes..

4. World Health Organization’s (WHO) new findings show that poor air quality is responsible for 7 million deaths a year – one in eight total deaths worldwide. The Western Pacific and South East Asian regions bear most of the burden.

 5. The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that foodborne illnesses have decreased by over 40% from 2002. Among the outbreaks that were traceable, restaurants accounted for nearly twice as many as outbreaks as private homes. Outbreaks with the largest average numbers of illness were found to occur in group settings such as prisons, catered events, and schools.

*Earth Day Bonus: August 20 was Earth Overshoot Day in 2013. It marked the approximate date our resource consumption for 2013 exceeded the planet’s ability to replenish it. It happened on about August 22 in 2012, September 22 in 2003, and on October 21 in 1993 (about a month earlier every decade). If we continue at this rate, Earth Day 2052 could also be Earth Overshoot Day.

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