Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970
April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day ― and Earth Week (April 16-22) ― this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.
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 49.0 percent from $6.6 billion in 2007.
The number of wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation business establishments in 2012, up from 312 in 2007.
The number of employees in wind electric power generation, the most among the industries using renewable energy in 2012.
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 $2.4 billion. Geothermal electric power generation had revenues of just under $1 billion ($995.4 million), followed by biomass electric power generation, with $934.6 million in revenues, solar electric power generation, with $472.4 million, and other electric power generation, with $59.0 million.
Source: 2012 Economic Census
Heating and Cooling the Home
Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by wood in 2013, which is 2.1 percent of all homes.
Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country totally heated by solar energy in 2013.
Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2013, which is 49.1 percent of all homes.
Source: 2009-2013 American Community Survey five-year estimates, Table B25040.
Estimated percent of newly built single-family homes across the country with air-conditioning in 2013.
Source: 2013 Characteristics of New Housing
Commuting to Work
Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2013, up from 25.7 minutes in 2012 and 25.5 minutes in 2011.
32.5 and 32.1 minutes
Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older in Maryland and New York spent getting to work in 2013, the longest commute time in the nation. (The two times are not statistically different.) Maryland’s time is up from 31.8 minutes in 2012.
Estimated average time workers age 16 and older in North Dakota and Wyoming spent getting to work in 2013, the shortest one-way commute times in the nation.
Estimated number of people who rode a bicycle to work in 2013. This comes out to about 0.6 percent of the American workforce.
Estimated number of people who walked to work in 2013. This comes out to about 2.8 percent of the American workforce.
Source: 2013 American Community Survey
Working in the Nuclear and Forestry Fields
Number of workers employed in forestry and logging (NAICS 113) across the U.S. in 2012, up from 53,034 in 2011. They had an average annual salary of $39,616, up from $37,986 in 2011.
Source: 2012 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp>
Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) across the U.S. in 2012.
Increase in the number of nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) establishments across the U.S. in 2012, from 79 establishments in 2007 to 144 establishments in 2012.
Increase in revenue by nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) establishments, from $29.0 billion in 2007 to $29.9 billion in 2012.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census and 2007 Economic Census
18,817 trillion Btu
The energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010, down 17 percent from the 22,576 trillion Btu (British thermal units) consumed in 2002.
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.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2010 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey
Building a House
2,598 square feet
The average size of a single-family home completed in 2013; 59,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 251,000 had four bedrooms or more.
The average sales price of a new single-family home sold in 2013. In 2012, the average sales price of a single-family home sold was $292,200.
The number of multifamily buildings built across the U.S. in 2013. Of these, 6,000 used electricity as the primary heating fuel.
Source: 2013 Characteristics of New Housing
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Increase in the number of recyclable material merchant wholesalers (NAICS 423930) establishments across the U.S. in 2012, from 7,377 establishments in 2007 to 8,838 establishments in 2012.
Number of employees working for recyclable material merchant wholesalers (NAICS 423930) in 2012, up 11.0 percent from 104,671 employees in 2007.
Sales for recyclable material merchant wholesalers (NAICS 423930) in 2012, up 16.7 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: $0.6 billion.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census and 2007 Economic Census
Product shipments value for recycled paperboard in 2013.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 Annual Survey of Manufactures
Estimated revenue for “waste collection – hazardous waste management collection services” in 2013 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was up 16.4 percent from 2012.
Estimated revenue for “waste treatment and disposal – hazardous waste treatment and disposal services” in 2013 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was up 5.6 percent from 2012.
Estimated revenue for “local, fixed-route passenger transportation, by road and transit rail” in 2013 for estimated sources of revenue for employer firms. This is up 5.2 percent from 2012.
Source: 2013 Service Annual Survey, Table 4
Earth Day 2015: Everything You Need to Know
Earth Day celebrates 45th anniversary
Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2015) – To commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Earth Day Network (EDN), the non-profit organization founded by organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, is announcing a series of events and programs to drive forward the movement. More than 1 billion people in 192 countries will participate in Earth Day activities and events, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This Earth Day, EDN calls upon citizens, educators, corporate leaders, governments and global organizations to take action under the banner, It’s our turn to lead
Let’s Talk Climate: Innovative Solutions to Communicating Climate Change, Wednesday, April 8: To kick off Earth Month, EDN and Connect4Climate will present Let’s Talk Climate,an e-discussion communicating effective messages on climate and bridging the gap between knowledge and action.
Event Registry:, What are you doing on Earth Day? Find out here. Earth Day Network is encouraging cities and organizations worldwide to register their Earth Day events and is providing a network of searchable events for local citizens. Almost 1,000 events are registered so far.www.earthday.org/register
Green Cities: Recognizing that local leaders and elected officials are on the frontlines of tackling environmental problems while also creating green job opportunities, EDN is calling on cities and their leaders to go 100% renewable by 2050. The Green Cities initiative is engaging participation by mayors, city council members and citizens across the US and the world, urging them to take action to create a green economy and reap the benefits of a renewable city. www.earthday.org/greencities
Climate Petition: Scientists warn that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love. EDN has joined with other organizations in the promoting the largest climate petition ever, calling on all citizens to keep global temperature under the unacceptably dangerous rise level of 2 degrees centigrade. More on the petition here:www.earthday.org
Climate Education Week: April 18-25 Building on president Obama’s urgent call for a climate literate public as essential to US leadership and a sustainable future, EDN is presenting Climate Education Week, featuring a free online Climate Education Toolkit for K-12 students around the globe, disseminated via EDN’s extensive Educator’s Network. The toolkit includes a week’s worth of curriculum for K-12 students aligned with NGSS and Common Core Standards.www.earthday.org/climateeducationweek
MobilizeU: Launched by EDN in 2012, MoiblizeU is a higher-ed campaign led by concerned college and university students and administrators acting on climate. EDN asks for participation in Climate Communication Forums, engaging a diverse base of students to interact on change issues and solutions in their communities. www.earthday.org/mobilizeu
Faith Based Earth Day: EDN recognizes faith leaders as driving forces behind spiritually based care for our planet. EDN ‘s online and social media tools inspire congregations and are being utilized by faith leaders from Reno, Nevada to Jerusalem, Israel and Fresno, California to Washington, D.C.www.earthday.org/faith
A Billion Acts of Green Since 2010, EDN has steadily built commitments by individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to protect the planet. The campaign inspires and rewards acts that reduce carbon emissions. Over 1 billion acts have been registered. EDN aims to reach 2 billion Acts of Green by December 2015 and deliver this accomplishment at COP21 Paris as evidence that people all over the world are united in calling for a binding global climate agreement.www.earthday.org/takeaction
Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day: Earth Day Network and The Global Poverty Project have joined forces to further the movement to end extreme poverty and solve climate change through Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, a free event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day will be headlined by No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train, and My Morning Jacket, with special guests Common and D’Banj. The event will be hosted by will.i.am and Soledad O’Brien and will be web streamed live.www.globalcitizen2015earthday.org
The Canopy Project: As part of its mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people, Earth Day Network developed The Canopy Project. The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities – especially the world’s impoverished communities – sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of climate change and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. For Earth Day 2015, EDN invites everyone to join and help achieve the project’s 10 million tree goal. www.earthday.org/trees
ABOUT EARTH DAY NETWORK:
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. For more information, visit www.earthday.org