Do You Love the Earth? Prove it With This Environmental Trivia Quiz
April 22 marks Earth Day, a holiday meant to celebrate the beauty of the world. But we think the Earth should be celebrated every day!
If you agree, gather up the entire family and play this kid-friendly environmental knowledge quiz. Whoever gets the most points wins bragging points. And even if you don't get every answer right, you'll learn something cool for the next trivia night.
Can you get 10/10?
1. In What Year Was Earth Day First Celebrated?
Earth Day has been celebrated for decades, but do you the exact year it was founded?
In response to growing concerns about environmental issues and the damages caused by the Industrial Revolution, California Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in 1970. It was one of the first steps to founding the Environmental Protection Agency.
The holiday went international in 1990.
2. Which Country or Territory Produces the Most Solar Power Per Capita?
Solar has become an increasingly popular alternative to fossil fuel-based energy sources.
And there's one place that enjoys it more than any other in the world.
Answer: Puerto Rico
This Caribbean island is known for its sunny weather. After Hurricane Maria left people without power for months in 2017, many Puerto Ricans started turning to solar as a more reliable source of energy.
Now, the island produces about 825 kilowatt hours of electricity per capita by harnessing the power of the sun.
3. Which Country Produces the Most Trash?
A terrible combination of large populations and waste made of materials that don't degrade has created a waste crisis. Many places are so choked by their own trash that they've started shipping it to lower-income countries to address the lack of landfill space.
But in the trashy country pageant, who wins the crown?
Answer: The United States
The U.S. is neither the largest nor the most populated country in the world. But it is the richest, and its culture of consumption means that people get rid of things at a faster pace than other countries.
As a result, Americans are responsible for 12 percent of the world's trash, despite accounting for 4.5 percent of the population.
4. True or False: Compost Always Smells Bad
Food waste is a giant problem. It is estimated that 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is thrown out. While inefficient planning and managing play a big part in this, individuals can help reduce this waste by composting.
The problem is that people don't want to deal with the unpleasant smells of decomposing food in their houses. Should they worry?
When done right, a compost pile shouldn't have any unpleasant smells. In fact, it should smell like dirt.
Think about it: Composting combines wet organic material and dry carbon-rich material like yard leaves. This imitates what happens naturally in places like, say, forests. Although forests always have decomposing animals and plants, they don't smell like rotting organic matter. Neither does a well-balanced compost.
5. How Long Does it Take for a Plastic Bag to 'Decompose?'
We all know disposable plastic is causing huge pollution problems around the world. We also know plastic isn't biodegradable, so it never fully decomposes.
Still, given the right environment, a plastic bag will break down into tiny pieces over time. Do you know how long it would take for it to disappear?
Answer: 1,000 Years
Let's put this into perspective: Theoretically, a plastic bag used in the year 1023 could still be around today.
And even when it "disappears," it wouldn't actually decompose. Rather, it would break down into microplastics, which are still toxic and get into our food and water.
6. Which Uses More Water, Washing Dishes by Hand or in the Dishwasher?
Dishwashers are a relatively new invention, but they're at the center of the hotly debated question of whether our laziness is causing environmental damage.
Answer: Washing Dishes by Hand Can Be More Water Intensive
If you run your dishwater at full capacity, you could be saving over 50 percent of the water necessary to wash the same amount of dishes by hand. It's a matter of efficiency: You do them all at once rather than letting the water run while you rinse them one by one.
Of course, there are other factors at play: how efficient your dishwasher is or whether you pre-rise and then wash. This also refers specifically to water use, not other environmental issues like carbon emissions.
7. What's the Biggest Beach Clean Up Effort in History?
Beach cleanups have become a popular community-centered activity for addressing trash pollution. And while they exist on every continent, the United Nations named one such event the "world’s largest beach clean-up project" to have ever been completed.
Do you know where it happened?
Answer: Versova Beach in Mumbai, India
Once an informal dumpster, Mumbai's Versova Beach was avoided by people and animals for years. In 2015, a local man named Afroz Shah had enough and started recruiting his neighbors to clean up the beach. Eventually, over 1,000 volunteers picked up around 5,500 tons of trash.
While clean-ups are organized whenever trash washes up, the beach has now become a popular tourist attraction and a pleasant space for locals to enjoy the sea.
8. In What Decade Is the Ozone Layer Estimated to Be Fully Healed?
For decades, humans used very harmful chemicals that created holes in the Ozone Layer — that handy part of the atmosphere that protects us from the sun.
Thankfully, once we realized the harm we were causing, we passed laws to protect the Ozone Layer. And our efforts have paid off: Much of the layer is recovered or recovering. The United Nations estimates it'll be good as new in 2069.
This is proof that environmental efforts work!
9. How Many People Celebrate Earth Day Each Year?
Earth Day is celebrated around the globe and is estimated to be one of the largest secular holidays.
Answer: 1 Billion
People participate in calls to action, volunteer at events, donate money or do fun Earth Day quizzes with their kids.
Every little bit helps.
10. Which Country Has the Highest Recycling Rate?
The world as a whole is becoming better and better at recycling.
But one nation takes it more seriously than any other.
Germany can proudly declare that it recycles around 67 percent of its waste. That's impressive for a highly developed country with 83.2 million people.
The European nation owes this feat to government policy providing infrastructure and a high public awareness and participation rate.