ESW Question-of-the-Day 2001

Friday, October 12
Can you name some of our "earthy" possessions?

In addition to oil and gas resources, we in Texas have many kinds of "earthy" possessions under our feet. Texas is the United States' 4th largest producer of clay—for products such as bricks and tile—and the 8th largest producer of crushed stone, sand, and gravel. Texas also leads the nation in the mining of lignite coal. Sulfur, salt, and gypsum are also important minerals mined in Texas that are necessary to our daily lives.

Look around you today. What do you use that is not grown from the earth or made from minerals taken from the earth? To develop a greater appreciation of this concept, for one day make a list of all of the things that you eat, use, wear, drive, drink, play with, sit and sleep on, clean with...well, you get the idea. At the end of the day, look at your list and think about the minerals that were involved in all of your activities.

Mineral resources are an important part of our daily lives and we can't live the way that we do without them. The average American reportedly will need 795 pounds of lead, 757 pounds of zinc, 28,213 pounds of salt, 1,500 pounds of copper, 3,595 pounds of aluminum, 630,450 pounds of crushed stone, and 91,000 pounds of iron and steel in their lifetime. Wow! All these minerals for our potato chips, cars, soda cans, computers, roads, telephones, bathrooms...the list seems endless. Texans have a lot of "earthy" possessions!

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