How much electricity do we waste in a year? Find out that and more at


This image is taken from the running the numbers section of the website and the creator (Chris Jordan) intends them as a visual version of a particular statistic, such as the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (320,000) or the number of plastic bags used in the US every five seconds (60,000).

The images are made from other images that represent the topic, for example the electricity image is made from 320,000 small images of lightbulbs and the wave image pictured is made from 2.4 million pieces of plastic, equal to the estimated number of pounds of plastic pollution that enter the world’s oceans every hour. All of the plastic in the image was collected from the Pacific Ocean.

Click on the image to zoom in until you can see each individual image

This site is ripe for discussion and debate and using unusual visual images such as these is a great way of introducing a topic as well as a helpful way for you and your students to visualize what all the big numbers mean.

You might want to combine one of these images with a News Item from MEC, such as the ‘Difficult’ level Waste means want for others to make for an interesting advanced or upper intermediate lesson.



  • wow that’s amazing!!!!

    Posted by Franks on March 21st 2011
  • I can hardly believe that!!!

    Posted by Emily Franks on March 21st 2011
  • Hi,

    It’s impressive and make us think.Also, Chris Jordan’s images are just amazing.It’s always interesting to find out what is behind them.

    Posted by Joanna on March 23rd 2011

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