The Stuff of Life

The next time you sip from a can of soda consider this: the average American will consume more than 43,000 cans of soda in his or her lifetime. Opting for something a bit healthier, like an orange? We’ll each consume nearly 13,000 of them in our lifetime. Those are among the facts and figures from the National Geographic Channel’s (NGC) video report, “Human Footprint.” Some of the stats are interesting; others are alarming, like the fact that we’ll each throw away 64 tons of waste.

The report made me wonder: What impact will we have on the 1,700 people we’ll each know over our lifetime? Is there something we could do to consume less than the average 1.8 million gallons of water? And, with each of us owning an average of 12 cars over our lifetime, wouldn’t it make better economic sense to keep our cars longer?

You can see three short portions of the report on NGC’s web site, where you’ll also find suggestions for walking a bit more lightly through life. To see the whole 90-minute report, you could buy the DVD or see if it’s available at your local library.

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