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Earth Day by the Numbers

Earth Day

April 22, 2016, marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day—a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Organizers started Earth Day in response to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Renewable Energy

$9.7 billion

Revenues in 2012 for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources, such as hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation. This figure is up 46.5 percent from $6.6 billion in 2007.

716

The number of wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation business establishments in 2012, more than double the number of establishments (312) in 2007.

5,347

The number of employees in wind electric power generation establishments, the most among the industries using renewable energy in 2012.

$5.1 billion

Revenues for the wind electric power generation industry in 2012, the highest among the industries using renewable energy resources. Hydroelectric power generation followed with revenues of $2.5 billion. Geothermal electric power generation had revenues of just under $1 billion ($981.2 million), followed by biomass electric power generation, with $721.5 million in revenues, solar electric power generation, with $427.6 million, and other electric power generation, with $43.4 million.

Heating and Cooling the Home

2.5 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country primarily heated by wood in 2014, which is 2.1 percent of all homes.

59,558

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country using solar energy in 2014 as their primary source of heat, which is less than 1 percent of all homes.

56.8 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country primarily heated by utility gas in 2014, which is 48.8 percent of all homes.

91%

Estimated percent of newly-built single-family homes across the country with air conditioning in 2014.

Commuting to Work

26 minutes

Estimated average time workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2014, up from 25.8 minutes in 2013 and 25.7 minutes in 2012.

32.3 and 32.6 minutes

Estimated average time workers age 16 and older in Maryland and New York spent getting to work in 2014, the longest commute time in the nation.

16.7

Estimated average time workers age 16 and older in Maryland and New York spent getting to work in 2014, the longest commute time in the nation.

4,011,094

Estimated number of people who walked to work in 2014. This comes out to about 2.7 percent of the American workforce.

Working in the Nuclear and Forestry Fields

54,863

Number of workers employed in forestry and logging establishments across the U.S. in 2013, up from 53,515 in 2012.

50,410

Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation establishments across the U.S. in 2013.

51.0%

Increase in the number of nuclear electric power generation establishments across the U.S. in 2013, from 75 establishments in 2003 to 147 establishments in 2013.

-32%

The drop in the consumption of coal in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 2002 to 2010, going from 1,956 trillion Btu in 2002 down to 1,328 trillion Btu consumed in 2010.

2,453 square feet

The median size of a single-family home completed in 2014.

620,000

The number of single-family homes completed in 2014. Of these, 64,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 282,000 had four bedrooms or more.

$345,800

The average sales price of a new single-family home sold in 2014.

11,000

The number of multifamily buildings built across the U.S. in 2014. Of these, 7,000 used electricity as the primary heating fuel.

1.1%

Increase in the number of recyclable material merchant wholesalers establishments across the U.S. in 2013, from 8,855 establishments in 2012 to 8,951 establishments in 2013.

113,440

Number of employees working in recyclable material merchant wholesale establishments in 2013, down 1.9 percent from 115,611 employees in 2012.

$95.8 billion

Sales for recyclable material merchant wholesale establishments in 2012, up 19.6 percent from $80.1 billion in 2007. 2012 sales for recyclable paper and paperboard products: $9.8 billion. 2012 sales for recyclable plastics products: $2.3 billion. 2012 sales for recyclable glass products: $583.5 million.

$8.8 billion

Product shipments value for recycled paperboard in 2014.

$1.9 billion

Estimated revenue for hazardous waste management collection services in 2014 for U.S. waste collection employer firms. This is up 6.7 percent from 2013.

$5.5 billion

Estimated revenue for hazardous waste treatment and disposal services in 2014 for U.S. waste treatment and disposal employer firms.

$14.3 billion

Estimated revenue for local, fixed-route passenger transportation, by road and transit rail in 2014 for U.S. Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation employer firms. This is up 7.5 percent from 2013.


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