Alaska derives its name from the Aleut word, Alyeska which means "mainland" or "great country" and is the largest state in the United States. The various cultures, economy, geography and climate are indicative of Alaska's diversity. Alaska is divided into six regions; Arctic, Interior, South-central, Southeast, Southwest and Western Alaska. Much of the state is predominately wilderness with mountainous, volcanic regions. The northern region is known as the "Land of the Midnight Sun", where conditions can be very extreme such as: from May to early August daylight is 24 hours, and from November to January, there is no sunlight. (Alaska, 2010)

Alaska has 591,004 square miles of land and a population of Alaska is 710,231. (Research and Analysis, 2010)

Since Alaska is so large and also remote, with sparse population through most of the state, it has high costs for transportation of gasoline and electricity. Hydropower produces almost 1/5th of the electricity used in the state, and wind energy potential is underutilized. (Alaska, 2011)

The most utilized natural resources for fuel available in Alaska are coal, oil and natural gas. Large oil fields like Prudhoe Bay sit in the Arctic region and pump crude oil through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, up to 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day. Alaska is the US' second largest oil producer. Although most of the natural gas is consumed within the state, Alaska hosts the only liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting station in the country and exports this commodity mainly to Japan. (Alaska, 2011)

Other Facts:

  • Alaska has 300 landfill facilities, while the entire northeastern region of the United States only has 134.
  • Every year, Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste.
  • The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year.
  • The average American uses about the equivalent of one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products each year.
  • The average office worker in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. That's four million tons of copy paper used annually. Office workers in the US generate approximately two pounds of paper and paperboard products every day.
  • More than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers are published each year.
  • The average American employee consumes 2.5 cans of soda each day at work.
  • The estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. (Clean Air)


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