INSIGHTS

Learning and understanding lead to valuing. Valuing leads to caring action.

OPL INSIGHTS are developed drawing from the vast amount of data we gather and analyze from the most reputable sources in the world.  We curate and compile this rich data and information into easy to navigate, interactive OPL INSIGHTS specifically for our community, with a focus on sustainability, wellness, and the digital/human intersection.

OPL Insight: CSA Farms by State
OPL INSIGHT: CSA FARMS BY STATE IN THE USA

In the United States, there are roughly 4,000 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. CSAs are a beneficial way to buy local, seasonal food directly from the farms that produce it. It’s a pretty simple idea with a powerful impact of supporting communities through local markets.

To learn more about CSAs, read our blog, Community Supported Agriculture A Win for Farmers and Families.

Explore our interactive map to find a selection of CSAs by State.

OPL Insight-Protected Land By State
OPL INSIGHT:  PROTECTED LAND BY STATE IN THE USA

In the United States, we have 63 natural parks and other protected land.  Currently, this equates to about 12% of our land (roughly 432,000 square miles). Most of the land in the US, however, is private ownership. Privately owned land can be used in a variety of ways, depending on zoning laws, without regard for the impact on natural habitats. (To learn more, read our blog, USA to Increase Protected Land for Our Future.)

The United States protected areas are controlled by different federal, state, tribal, and local level authorities and receive widely different levels of protection.  They can all use our help to support their efforts in expanding the protected area across the country to reach 30 percent by 2030.

Explore our interactive map to learn the amount of protected land, the most notable parks by state, and how each state ranks for protected land.

OPL Wildlife Crossings Map
OPL INSIGHT:  WILDLIFE CROSSINGS AROUND THE WORLD

We all know the saying, “Why did the chicken cross the road…or deer or bear or elk or any other wildlife? To get to the other side.” But what if natural wildlife crossings are blocked? In an attempt to get to the other side, animals are being killed and losing access to large parts of their living space. Animals without sufficient connected habitats end up with difficulty finding food and mates. A population needs enough connected habitat to be healthy and sustainable.  The good news is we can do something about it and we are. We are creating special-purpose natural wildlife bridges to reconnect natural habitats. (To learn more, read our blog, You’ll Be Amazed by these Wildlife Bridges.)

Explore our interactive map to virtually visit wildlife bridges and green crossings across the globe.

OPL Insight-Recycling Rates
OPL MICRO INSIGHT:  RECYCLING RATES OF MAJOR US CITIES

The average recycling rate in the United States is about 34%.  This is a failing grade when you consider the fact that Americans are the biggest garbage producers in the world.  Some large cities well exceed the average recycling rate, which is good news.  However, many other cities have considerable room for improvement in their recycling practices.  Overall, the United States has a long way to go to reach a zero-waste target.

Explore OPL Graphs to see the progress made over the past 35 years and to gain an understanding of recycling rates for 48 major US cities.

OPL Insight Composting By City
OPL INSIGHT:  COMPOSTING IN A CITY NEAR YOU

Did you know that 30% of the trash in our landfills is made up of food and yard waste? Instead of throwing your food scraps into the trash, use them to nourish your soil to grow beautiful vegetables, fruit and flowers.

There is no need to be an expert to get started.  We curated a list of composting services by city in each US state for your reference. Hover over your state on the OPL Insight Map to reveal the closest composting service.  Reach out to the composting service and start turning your food waste into nutrient-rich ‘black gold’ for your garden.

OPL Biodiversity Map
OPL INSIGHT:  EXPLORE BIODIVERSITY AROUND THE WORLD

Did you know, there are over 10 million plant and animal species that share our earth? Each plays a unique role in nature’s design. Bees and bats pollinate trees and plants, predators control prey, and trees control flooding and moderate our climate. 

Explore the videos, photos, and interesting facts through our interactive map to learn about some of the unique species living on this earth. From the Kangaroo Rat that can only be found in the sandhills of Santa Cruz, California, to the Wood’s Cycad, an old order of tree endemic to southern Africa that has existed on earth for over 280 million years!

OPL INSIGHT: Local Produce
OPL INSIGHT:  FRESH PRODUCE BY STATE AND WHERE TO SHOP FOR IT

There are almost two million farms in the USA.  About 80% of those are small farms that conserve fertile soil, protect water resources, and even sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Eating more fresh produce is good for your health and protects the planet.

Use our interactive dashboard to explore the map and learn about the produce grown in your state.  Click on the links find out where to buy it.

State Dashboard
OPL INSIGHT:  HOW CAN YOUR STATE MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

The planet is in pain. It is clear that two dates are essential to keep in the top of your mind: 2030 and 2050. By 2050 we must have stopped emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the planet can naturally absorb.

Use our interactive dashboard to explore and compare data about how each state performs against various factors that affect climate change

OPL INSIGHT:  SOCIAL PROGRESS & HAPPINESS

We dream of a world where people and the planet come first. To explore where we are today, we looked to social progress and happiness. We want a world where people are safe, healthy, and free. We invite you to explore our chart and the underlying information.

Use our interactive map to explore and compare social progress and world happiness data.

OPL INSIGHT:  TREE COVER IN THE UNITED STATES

We love trees! Trees are a rich resource that gives us oxygen, store carbon, provide shade, stabilize soil, support animal life, provide building materials, and some have medicinal properties. Restoration of trees is one of the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. We are on a journey to learn more about trees and to increase trees everywhere. We invite you to explore the tree coverage and state trees in the United States.

Explore our interactive map to learn more about tree cover in your area.

MORE INSIGHTS

One Planet Life has an insatiable appetite for reputable data and analytics to help us better undertand our world and our place in it.  We share these additional resources below and invite you to explore and learn more.

GLOBAL FOREST WATCH

When you care about trees and the forest, you need information about where forests are and how they are changing around the world. To explore and monitor forests, we recommend the Global Forest Watch (GFW). GFW is a near real-time platform that provides data and tools for monitoring forests globally. You can keep track of changes to forests, land coverage, land use, the climate impact of changing coverage, and biodiversity. Explore their maps and dashboards or download their forest watcher app to keep updated all the time.  

Water picture from pixabay
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU USE?

Quickly calculate your usage of blue water, green water, grey water, and virtual water.  Unseen water usage (virtual water) is by far the biggest part of our water footprint.  Virtual water is the water it takes to grow our food, make electricity, and manufacture home goods.  The food we eat accounts for most of our water usage.  Learn what actions you can take. 

The Grace Communication Foundation (GRACE) developed this easy to use Water Footprint Calculator.  Jump in and see how you can make a difference by reducing waste and using less water!  Even small changes make a difference.

WHAT DOES WATER USAGE LOOK LIKE IN THE UNITED STATES?

In the United States, we can see there are large variances of water withdrawal between states.  This can depend on a range of factors, including latitude, climate, and the importance of a countries agricultural or industrial sector.  

On the state level, we see that more than 50 percent of the total withdrawals in the U.S were accounted for by 12 States (California, Texas, Idaho, Florida, Arkansas, New York, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Montana, and Nebraska).

Take a look at our source, USGS Estimated Use of Water in the United States 2015 to gain a better understanding.

WHAT DOES WATER USAGE LOOK LIKE AROUND THE WORLD?

The level of water usage varies significantly around the world. As you can see the United States is one of the countries with the most water usage per capita at about 1,500 cubic meters per year. Another way to look at it is that the U.S used 322 billion gallons of water per day. That is enough to fill 1,163 Empire State Buildings. The U.S. is one of the biggest users of water per capita in the world.  

Delve deeper into the data with the World Water Withdrawls Per Capita, 2010

Shark photo from pixabay
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SHARK?

OCEARCH’s mission is to accelerate the ocean’s return to balance and abundance. They use a data-centric approach to track sharks and other large sea life to help scientists collect previously unattainable data in the ocean. You can also learn from this science and follow your favorite shark, sea turtle, etc. Get started on their website below or download their app.

Download the OCEARCH app – It is a free and easy way to stay up to date on all the exciting science at OCEARCH.  Track your favorite sharks in real-near time on any of your mobile devices.

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