Published April 22, 2024

9 Earth Day facts that will blow your mind (and motivate you to act!)

Facts about our planet for Earth Day

Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22nd, is a global movement dedicated to environmental protection. This year, let's move beyond awareness and dive into inspiration.  The following facts paint a powerful picture of our planet's health, and might just be the push you need to embrace change this Earth Day.

1. Gulp! We breathe plastic

Every year, humans dump a staggering 8 million metric tons of plastic into our oceans. That's the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every single minute. And that is only counting what ends up in the ocean. In total, we produce approximately 400 million tons of plastic waste every year. 

As this plastic breaks down, it releases toxic chemicals that make their way into our food, water, and even the air we breathe. 

2. Forests are fading fast

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the world loses a staggering 27 football fields worth of forest every minute. Forests are vital for clean air, healthy ecosystems, and combating climate change.

3. And so is the ice …

Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, contributing to rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities around the world. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing ice 6 times faster than it was in the 90s. During this time, sea level rates have doubled on the East Coast. 

4. Renewable rocks! 

While hydroelectricity is the biggest source of renewable energy in Canada, solar wind is the fastest-growing renewable source. In 2022, solar photovoltaic generation increased by 26%, surpassing wind’s growth for the first time in history. 

5. Food Fighter Waste

We waste close to one-third of all food produced globally. This would be enough food to feed 1.26 billion hungry people a year. Approximately $400 billion is lost before it reaches shops. Homeowners and retailers toss the rest out themselves. Think before you toss those leftovers!

6. Endangered by us 

Scientists estimate that there are approximately 8.7 million species on our planet. Over one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades. 

Global Assessment Animation from GlobalGoalsUN on Vimeo

7. e-Waste is wasting away 

In 2022, we produced 62 million tons of e-waste (and that number is increasing by 2.6 million per year). Of that, 22.3% was properly collected and recycled. The rest is unaccounted for, creating health and environmental hazards and wasting billions of dollars worth of renewable resources. 

8. Coffee pods 

In Canada alone, we use 1.5 billion single serve plastic coffee pods a year, most of which end up at the dump. Well there are company’s coming up with pods made from alternative materials, using a French press is the best solution if you want to be more green! 

 9. Air pollution by the numbers

According to the World Health Organization, 7 million people die prematurely every year from air pollution from inside and outside your home. 

These Earth Day facts show how in need our planet is. By working together, we can create a brighter future. So use Earth Day as a springboard to take action and find ways to make a difference every day!

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