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Scairns
01-20-2016, 02:45 AM
I was just wondering, what is the environmental impact of one person (in the USA) over their lifetime? For example: how many trees are cut down, gallons of water used, how much CO2 emitted, etc.

Are there any statistics available?

Reply
01-20-2016, 02:53 AM
You can take a carbon footprint test like the EPA's:
http://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

And times it by your expected lifespan.

It varies a lot from person to person depending on their living habits, but their assumptions page lists their sources and calculations:
http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-assumptions.html

If you don't like the EPA, many non-profits make their own versions.

If you prefer a report on averages, try something like this:
http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/blogs/defining-your-total-environmental-impact

iljitsch
01-20-2016, 05:50 AM
Trees and water don't necessarily matter because trees can regrow and water can re-rain.

Average person exhales about 900 grams ( ~ 2 pounds) of carbon dioxide per day. Of course that pales relative to the amount generated as a result of transportation, heating, building the house you live in and making/transporting/powering all your stuff and growing/transporting your food.

DrCube
01-20-2016, 11:00 AM
Trees and water don't necessarily matter because trees can regrow and water can re-rain.

Average person exhales about 900 grams ( ~ 2 pounds) of carbon dioxide per day. Of course that pales relative to the amount generated as a result of transportation, heating, building the house you live in and making/transporting/powering all your stuff and growing/transporting your food.

Our breath does not contribute to increases in atmospheric CO2. Vegetables sequester CO2, we eat them, then we release the CO2 back into the atmosphere for other plants to absorb. It's just moving CO2 around, not increasing it. Fossil fuels come from vegetation that was sequestered for millions of years. That's what increases atmospheric CO2. In effect, by using fossil fuels, we're returning CO2 concentration back to what it was in the Carboniferous era.