Monday, December 6, 2010

Mrs. Roy's list of good things

As a fire blazes in Mrs. Roy's fireplace insert, heating our house instead of using the electric heat, Mrs. Roy came across a list of 20 positive trends.  Wow!  That's a lot of good news! 

1.  We are safer.  The number of violent crimes dropped 3.5% in 2008, burgleries are down 43% since 1989, property level crimes have dropped 25% since the early 1990's and auto theft is down 42% from 1991.

2.  We use less energy.  Like burning wood in our fireplaces instead of using electric heat.  Per capita use of electricity in the US is down 9% from 1979.  And from 1970 to 2008, the amount of energy needed to produce a dollar's worth of goods and services has dropped 53%.

3.  We are generous.  Americans gave $300 billion to charities in 2009.  Wow!

4.  Mass transit use has increased by 38% from 1995 through 2008.

5.  We live longer and feel better.  We will live an average of 10 years longer than our parents and people over 50 have less stress, anxiety and worry than those under 50.

6.  Young people are smarter about taking care of themselves.  Less smoking, less drug and alcohol use.  Hooray!

7.  Networking using technology - computer dating services, social networks, etc. - have been shown to increase our likelihood of being happy by 9%.

8.  We are hooked up.  Wifi is getting more common, even on airplanes, and is free more often.

9.  Marriages are lasting longer and divorce rates are going down.

10.  We recycle approximately 800 tons of stuff each and every day.

11.  The total acreage of forested land in the US increased during the last thirty years and forest ecosystems are remaining intact.

12.  Our air is a lot cleaner than it used to be - pollutants like sulfur dioide are down 59% and concentrations of carbon monoxide, lead and oxygen dioxide are below the federal standards.

13.  8.9% fewer people died in auto accidents in 2009 than the year before.

14.  We grow more of our own food.  Seed sales are increasing and canning equipment sales have gone up 30%.

15.  Between 2002 and 2007, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 23%.  Public policy laws restricting smoking in public places is thought to contribute to this decline.

16.  We wear our seatbelts more.

17.  Bees are making a comeback.  This is huge since we don't know why they were dying off but we need them for farming and for honey.

18.  Breast cancer declined by 2% per year from 1999 to 2006.

19.  We are exercising more. 

20.  Being a positive thinker results in less heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure or diabetes among women in a 2009 Heart Association study and had a positive impact on grades, class performance and the immune system of students in a 2010 study.

Mrs. Roy read all this cool stuff in the goodneighbor magazine sent by our State Farm insurance agent.  Thanks, Ralph!

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