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The idea of these pages is fairly simple - to build up a collection of 'random' facts - not really random, something to do with sustainability or the need for it, or similar related facts. The collection is used to stock today's random fact on our home page. Remember of course to include the source. Within the sections please put most recent edits at the top. See also Category:Articles with random facts

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Mudeford2

Mudeford Quay, July
Photo credit: Philralph

UK Coast Edit

  • Wherever you are in the UK, you’re never more than 70 miles from the sea: Furthest distance from the sea: The Ordnance Survey has calculated that the furthest point from the sea in all of the UK is: Latitude: 52º 43.6'N, Longitude: 1º 37.2'W - which is very close to the village of Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire.
  • The UK’s 17,820 km (11,073 miles) of coastline is host to an array of flora and fauna; in fact more than 40,000 species - around 50% of the UK’s plants and animals - live in our seas - including intricate corals, whales & dolphins, giant (but harmless) basking sharks, seals, puffins and a myriad of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Source: Wildlife Trusts

UK food waste Edit

  • A third of the food we buy, or 6.7 million tonnes, gets thrown out from UK homes annually, most of which could have been eaten. Fruit and vegetables make up 40% of this. The top five fruit & vegetables which get binned without even being touched are apples, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes and oranges. Source: WRAP, April 7 2008

Upland peat bogs in the UK Edit

  • The amount of carbon stored in the UK’s peatlands is equivalent to at least three years of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions. There is more carbon stored in the UK’s peat than in all the forests of Britain and France combined. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from soils totalled 13.69 million tonnes in 2005. By comparison, carbon dioxide emissions from domestic aviation was 2.47 million tonnes. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • All of the peatlands in England and Wales would absorb around 41,000 tonnes of carbon a year if in a pristine condition but could emit up to 381,000 tonnes of C a year if they are damaged by practices such as excessive burning, drainage and over-grazing. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007
  • The restoration and enhancement of peatlands could save around 400,000 tonnes a year, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 billion car miles or 84,000 family-sized cars. Peat land landscapes are also important habitats for up to 5,000 species of plants and animals such as Sphagnum mosses and cotton grasses, adders, oyster catchers and short-eared owls. Source: Natural England, November 16 2007

Urban farming Edit

Urban focus Edit

  • Of the 3 billion urban dwellers today, 1 billion live in "slums," defined as areas where people cannot secure key necessities such as clean water, a nearby toilet, or durable housing. Source: Worldwatch Institute
  • "80 per cent of the British population living in an urban environment - far higher than the global average" Defra
  • According to UN statistics, about 50 per cent of the world’s population is living in cities today. By 2030 this percentage will be over 60 per cent. Source: UN news centre, UN welcomes New York City’s ‘green initiative’, 23 April 2007

Vegetarianism Edit

Why it’s green to be vegetarian

  • Farmed animals produce more greenhouse gas emissions (18%) than the world’s entire transport system (13.5%). Source: The Vegetarian Society, September 2007 / Food

Water Edit

Wealth inequality in the UK Edit

  • Wealth inequality is high in the UK: the wealthiest one per cent own almost a quarter of all the wealth in the country, while almost a third of the population owned less than £5,000 of marketable wealth. Source: ippr report, March 2007

World population Edit

The world's population surpassed 6.8 billion in early 2009, with no significant slowing in the pace of growth in recent years.

  • More than 95 percent of population growth is occurring in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, regions that account for more than three-quarters of the current population. U.N. demographers estimate that by mid-century, Africa will be adding 21 million people a year to world population and Asia 5 million.
  • Although the populations of Japan, Germany, Russia, and some Eastern European countries are already declining, U.N. demographers do not indicate a population peak among industrial countries as a group until 2036.

Source: Worldwatch Institute, September 17, 2009 / World population W

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