Electricity By the Numbers
- 1,200: The dollar amount the average American household spends on new electronics annually.
- 20-40: Number of gadgets the average American keeps on stand by, that suck up energy even when turned off. Televisions, computers, electric toothbrushes, phones, radios and more all use up energy and money when they aren’t even in use.
- One percent: The total percent of carbon dioxide emissions emitted each year from devices left on standby.
- 230 million: The number of products with battery charging systems currently in use in American homes and businesses.
- 1.5 billion: The number of external power adapters, also known as power supplies, currently in use to power small electronic devices—that’s about five for every person. The total electricity flowing through all types of power supplies makes up about 11 percent of the national electric bill.
- 3 million: Tons of household electronics tossed by Americans in 2006.
- 700 million: The number of used cell phones in the US today. Each of the 140 million cell phone users discards their old phone for a new one every 14 to 18 months.
- 300 million: Number of obsolete computers in the U.S. today.
- 70 percent: The percentage of e-waste out of the entire toxic waste stream of landfills. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury.
- 50 percent: The amount of a computer that is recycled. The rest is dumped. Non-recyclable components of a single computer may contain almost two kilograms of lead.
- 75 to 80 percent: The percentage of old computers from the United States wind up in Asian countries such as India and China, where recycling costs are much lower.
By Jaymi Heimbuch, Planet Green