Our Reliance on Plants is Increasing

A representation of the pressure local populations put on their ecosystem, this map shows how much plant matter people need for food and other products compared to the amount of plant material produced in each region (but not per capita use). For example, in the United States, each person uses 5.94 metric tons of carbon (vegetation) per year, while in South-central Asia, people use 1.23 metric tons per year. However, the United States produces more than it requires, so the ratio between usage and vegetation is low. South-central Asia, on the other hand, uses less per person, but it has a high population that collectively require more carbon than the land produces, and so must import products from other regions.

via earthobservatory.nasa.gov

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Gulf Life

The largest U.S. oil discoveries in decades lie in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico--one of the most dangerous places to drill on the planet. Louisiana’s wetlands are resilient and have bounced back before. But no one knows how long this recovery will take.

via ngm.nationalgeographic.com
(click above link to see an interactive graphics; click each layer to see in depth details)

The Growing E-Waste Situation

As technology advances and we build more and more devices, the number of obsolete electronics in need of disposal is growing as well. The issue of global e-waste is a mounting concern. And as the problem piles up, many countries are finding it easiest to just ship their e-waste overseas.

via awesome.good.is

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The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Bottled Water, releasing March 22, 2010 on storyofbottledwater.org, employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over seven minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to ‘take back the tap,’ not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.