This incredible project called Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait, was made by photographer Chris Jordan.
It’s not just raw numbers which won’t give us a good representation or won’t have a desired effect on us. With these photos, the quantities of everything consumed in America can be seen through another angle, more interesting I would say.
Dog and Cat Collars, 2009
Depicts ten thousand dog and cat collars, equal to the average number of unwanted dogs and cats euthanized in the United States every day.
Packing Peanuts, 2009
Depicts 166,000 packing peanuts, equal to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the U.S. every hour.
Oil Barrels, 2008
Depicts 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river).
Light Bulbs, 2008
Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.)
Depicts one hundred million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail.
Plastic Cups, 2008
Depicts one million plastic cups, the number used on airline flights in the US every six hours.
Barbie Dolls, 2008
Depicts 32,000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006.
Plastic Bottles, 2007
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.
Skull With Cigarette, 2007 [based on a painting by Van Gogh]
Depicts 200,000 packs of cigarettes, equal to the number of Americans who die from cigarette smoking every six months.
Jet Trails, 2007
Depicts 11,000 jet trails, equal to the number of commercial flights in the US every eight hours.
Prison Uniforms, 2007
Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005. The U.S. has the largest prison population of any country in the world.
Cell Phones, 2007
Depicts 426,000 cell phones, equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day.
Paper Bags, 2007
Depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the US every hour.
Cans Seurat, 2007
Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
Denali Denial, 2006
Depicts 24,000 logos from the GMC Yukon Denali, equal to six weeks of sales of that model SUV in 2004.
Paper Cups, 2008
Depicts 410,000 paper cups, equal to the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the US every fifteen minutes.
Pain Killers, 2007
Depicts 213,000 Vicodin pills, equal to the number of emergency room visits yearly in the US related to misuse or abuse of prescription pain killers.
Depicts 29,569 handguns, equal to the number of gun-related deaths in the US in 2004.
Ben Franklin, 2007
Depicts 125,000 one-hundred dollar bills ($12.5 million), the amount our government spends every hour on the war in Iraq.
Plastic Bags, 2007
Depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.
Depicts 65,000 cigarettes, equal to the number of American teenagers under age eighteen who become addicted to cigarettes every month.
Building Blocks, 2007
Depicts nine million wooden ABC blocks, equal to the number of American children with no health insurance coverage in 2007.
Office Paper, 2007
Depicts 30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets, equal to the amount of office paper used in the US every five minutes.
Valve Caps, 2006
Depicts 3.6 million tire valve caps, one for each new SUV sold in the US in 2004.
Depicts 170,000 disposable Energizer batteries, equal to fifteen minutes of Energizer battery production.
If 170,000 batteries were depicted at their real size, the print would need to be 26x43 feet, as shown here. To depict one year of Energizer disposable battery production (six billion batteries) would require a print 26 feet high by 146 miles long.
Shipping Containers, 2007
Depicts 38,000 shipping containers, the number of containers processed through American ports every twelve hours.
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