By Michelle Werts
Time is a fickle mistress. It’s supposed to be the one constant in life, right? It just ticks on second after second … except twice a year when we lose or gain an hour … and every four years when we all of sudden get an extra 24 hours in the form of Leap Day.
Of course, there’s an easy scientific explanation behind the appearance of February 29th on calendars every four years: It takes Earth 365 and a quarter days to make its way around the sun. To help our poor brains, instead of celebrating that quarter day each year, we celebrate a full day every four years. Hence, Leap Day. Easy peasy.
In honor of our extra 24 hours tomorrow, I thought it might be interesting to see what all will happen in that 24 hours:
- 384,480 people will be born and 155,520 will die.
- 12,971 people will visit a National Park Service site.
- 110 gallons of water will pass from the soil through one large oak tree and back into the atmosphere through transpiration.
- 2 million tons of human waste (aka sewage) will enter the world’s water sources.
- 15.7 million tons of CO2 will be emitted in the U.S. alone.
- 2.3 pounds of CO2 will be emitted by each person in the world, although these types of CO2 emissions aren’t included in the greenhouse gas inventory.
- 43,327 acres of forest will be destroyed around the world.
- $797 million will be donated to charities and nonprofits in the United States.
On Leap Day, you can make a difference by making a tax-deductible contribution to American Forests in support of our work protecting and restoring our forests, which clean our air and water and provide safe habitat for millions of animals. What better way to give back on your bonus day this year?