Welcome to DoSomething.org, one of the largest orgs for young people and social change! After you've browsed the 11 facts (with citations at the bottom), take action and volunteer with our millions of members. Sign up for a campaign and make the world suck less.

  1. Pollution is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people. That’s comparable to global diseases like malaria and HIV.
  2. Cleanups can save animals’ lives and discourage people from littering in the future. Take initiative and host a cleanup -- wearing anything but clothes! -- at a park near you. Sign up for ABC Cleanup.
  3. In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that ocean-based sources, such as cargo ships and cruise liners had dumped 14 billion pounds of garbage into the ocean.
  4. Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution every year.
  5. People who live in places with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from lung cancer than people who live in less-polluted areas.

Tackle a campaign to make the world suck less.

Explore Campaigns
  1. The Mississippi River carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, creating a “dead zone” in the Gulf each summer about the size of New Jersey.
  2. Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming.
  3. Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the US uses 25% of the world’s resources - burning up nearly 25% of the coal, 26% of the oil, and 27% of the world’s natural gas.
  4. Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are dumped into US water.
  5. While children make up 10% of the world’s population, over 40% of the global burden of disease falls on them. More than 3 million children under age five die annually from environmental factors.
  6. Recycling and composting prevented 85 million tons of material away from being disposed of in 2010, up from 18 million tons in 1980.


  • 1

    World Health Organization. "Climate change and health." 2014. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 2

    Keep America Beautiful. “LITTER IN AMERICA.” 2010. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 3

    California Coastal Commission. "Marine Debris." State of California. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 4

    United Nations Environment Programme. "Marine Liter: Trash that Kills." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 5

    Grens, Kerry. "Air pollution tied to lung cancer in non-smokers." Thomas Reuters, 2011. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 6

    Bradford, Alina. "Pollution Facts & Types of Pollution." LiveScience. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 7

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Nonpoint Source Pollution: The Nation's Largest Water Quality Problem." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 8

    Worldwatch Institute. "The State of Consumption Today." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 9

    Chambers, Neil B. "How Infastructure Makes Water Work for Us." Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

  • 10

    Blacksmith Institute, Green Cross. "The World's Worst Pollution Problems: The Top Ten of the Toxic Twenty." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

  • 11

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Non-Hazardous Waste | Basic Information." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.

Tackle a campaign to make the world suck less.

Explore Campaigns