All the Plastic Ever Produced, Visualized

iStock
iStock

Humanity has a plastic problem. The cheap, durable material has become a vital part of our vehicles, food packaging, and even the inner structures of our homes. We’ve already produced 8.3 billion metric tons of the stuff, and most of it is sitting in landfills where it could take centuries to break down.

In early 2017, a study published in the journal Science Advances highlighted the literal weight of this growing issue. Researchers calculated that the bulk of all the plastic that’s been made by humans is equivalent to that of 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 80 million blue whales. Of that, only 9 percent has been recycled. The amount of plastic waste currently trashing our planet adds up to 6.3 billion metric tons, and the researchers don’t see our plastic addiction getting any less severe in the near future. By 2050, the plastic in our landfills is expected to hit 12 billion metric tons. You can see more alarming statistics from the study in the infographic below.

Infographic showing plastic production statistics.
University of Georgia, Janet A Beckley

Of all the trash we produce, plastic is some of the toughest to get rid of [PDF]. Scientists are looking into solutions, such as plastic-chomping caterpillars and germs, but for now consumers can do the planet a favor by investing in more reusable goods.

Save More, Lose Less: How New Year's Resolutions Have Changed Over the Past Year

iStock.com/SIphotography
iStock.com/SIphotography

The top New Year’s Resolutions are easy to predict each year, but they’re not as concrete and unchanging as you might expect. Sure, everyone and their brother wants to lose weight or save money, but Americans’ collective priorities have shifted slightly since last year.

Offers.com polled 1000 Americans about their goals for the upcoming year, and the main takeaways are that more people want to save money and fewer people want to lose weight. Although fitness is still the top resolution, it’s trending downward. Compared with the 41 percent of respondents who wanted to exercise more or shed a few pounds in 2018, just 38 percent have the same motive heading into 2019.

On the other hand, the desire to save money has risen by six percentage points over the last year. Offers.com predicts more people will be buying subscriptions to video streaming services (like Netflix and Hulu) as well as kitchen appliances in an effort to cut out cable costs and restaurant bills.

We all know that Millennials tend to value experiences more than things, but it seems more and more people across the board are vowing to travel more in 2019. It’s the top resolution in a few states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Everywhere else in the country, people are dreaming of bigger bank accounts and smaller waists, with the exception of Nevada. Residents in the Silver State just want to make sterling new friendships.

Check out the infographic below to see the results from this year and last year.

An infographic of New Year's Resolutions by percentage
Offers.com

Whatever you choose as your New Year’s Resolution, be sure to make 2019 the year you achieve all of your goals. To help, we’ve crafted a list of 10 scientifically proven ways to stick to your resolution.

Here's How Much it Would Cost to Build Hogwarts in Real Life

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

At some point, every Harry Potter fan has dreamed of going to Hogwarts. But a lack of magical ability isn't the only reason that the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will have to remain in the realm of fantasy. Even recreating the physical structure would be nearly impossible in real life ... unless you're a billionaire looking to burn a lot of cash.

​BigRentz, an online marketplace for renting construction equipment, recently calculated the costs of building various fictional locations, such as Batman's Bat Cave, The Wall from Game of Thrones, and you guessed it—Hogwarts. And it turns out, magical castles are even more expensive than you might think.

According to the company's calculations, the castle itself would cost $169,740,000. Built in the style of Windsor Castle, Hogwarts stretches over 414,000 square feet. The Great Hall, which measures 5800 square feet, would alone cost a whopping $870,000.

Moving beyond the castle walls, the eight greenhouses would cost $175,000, and Hagrid's hut would come in at $400,000. Building the Quidditch pitch would cost another $1,031,980. And for the One-Eyed Witch Passage running between Hogwarts and Honeydukes? A full $2,490,000.

In total, BigRentz calculates that Hogwarts's construction bill would come to a whopping $174.5 million. And that's just construction costs. The cost of furnishing, supplying, and running the school—where tuition is free—would add significantly to that figure.

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