Tech: 5 sobering charts that show how many resources Americans use and waste

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Revelers wade through trash left after the New Years celebration in Times Square, January 1, 2005

The average American uses a record amount of stuff — and generates a record amount of waste in the process.

The United States is the third most populous nation on Earth, with about 319 million inhabitants. So it's no surprise the country uses a lot of resources — and makes an incredible amount of waste.

Americans enjoy practically unlimited access to food, water, energy, and other resources that power a modern society. This makes US residents some of the most resource-intensive human beings on Earth.

The average person born in the US creates 13 times as much damage to the environment as someone born in Brazil, uses 35 times the resources of a typical person in India, and consumes about 53 times more products than people who live in China, according to Scientific American. Also, the lifestyle of Americans is second only to that of Canadians in generating the most greenhouse gases per person.

The following five data-driven charts, which Business Insider assembled for Earth Day, help illustrate the disproportionate ecological footprint Americans have on our planet.

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