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Mathline

What We Do Adds Up (Grade Levels: 4 - 6)

Earth Day Concepts: Overview | What We Do Adds Up
Recycling | M&Ms | Fish Pond | Answers | Career Connections | More Math Concepts

windfarm Many people believe that reasonable or small changes in their actions have no real impact. This is not the case! If we all make little contributions, the impact over time can be HUGE! Just check it out!

Did you know that on the average each of us throws away about 4.4 pounds of trash every day? This does not mean that we each throw away 4.4 pounds each day, but if we even out what is thrown away across everyone, it would turn out that each of us would contribute 4.4 pounds of garbage.

1. On average, how much garbage does each person throw away in a week?

2. On average, how long does it take for each person to throw away 100 pounds of garbage?

3. On average, how much garbage will a person throw away this year?

4. At this rate, would a person your age have contributed a ton of garbage? On average, how long does it take for each person to throw away a ton, or 2000 pounds of garbage?

5. About how long would it take for a person to create 4 tons or 8,000 pounds of garbage?

6. So far in your lifetime, about how much garbage have you contributed?

The U.S. Census Bureau can provide estimates of our national, state, and county Populations.

7. Using these population data, estimate how much garbage the people in your county throw away during the month of March? Estimate how much they will throw away during this year?

8. Estimate how much garbage the people in your state will throw away during this year?

9. Estimate how much garbage the people in the U.S. will throw away during this year?

10. Landfills in the U.S. have charged between $10 and $100 per ton to dump trash. If it costs $20 per ton of garbage and none of the trash is recycled, estimate how much money will be spent on throwing away trash this year?