The nonprofit group Conference Board of Canada just released a study showing that Canadians produce more garbage than almost any other nation in the developed world. And no, we are not talking about pop music.
The Conference Board measured air pollution, garbage production, energy consumption, water usage and many other factors across 17 developed economies around the world.
While Canada earned a few A grades in categories such as water quality, endangered species and the use of forest resources, overall the country scored a D average.
The 15th-place ranking put Canada only ahead of the U.S. and Australia in the ranking.
The board noted that those three countries have a few factors in common to help explain their comparatively dismal results: they have the largest land masses in the survey, and they have the most resource-dependent economies in the OECD.
Canada fared dismally in terms of the amount of waste we produce. In 2009 (the data year on which the study was based), Canada produced 777 kilograms of garbage per citizen. Across all 17 countries studied, the average was only 578 kg produced.
The numbers show that Canada produces more than twice as much garbage, per person, than Japan, the best country on the ranking in that category, which made only 377 kilograms per person that year.
Canada also fared poorly in use of our vast water resources. On average Canadians use twice as much water as do the residents of the other developed economies on the list. Indeed, we use nine times more water than people in the best country on that metric do, Denmark.
Canada's vast water resources encourage wasteful use, the board suggests.
"Excessive water withdrawals in Canada can be attributed to the lack of widespread water conservation practices and water pricing that does not promote efficiency," the board said.
The report found Canadians use 1,131 cubic metres per capita of water per year. The only country that uses more water is the United States, which consumes 1,632 cubic metres per capita.
That is disgusting, Canada. And here I thought you were our clean, environmentally conscious, non-gun-toting friends to the north. Now I find out you are secretly Americans after all.