Number Crunching

Photographer Chris Jordan depicts the sheer masses that result from our collective consumption.

Numbers don't lie. But they can be hard to comprehend. This is the paradox that underlies "Running the Numbers," a new series by photographer Chris Jordan that depicts the sheer mass behind the statistics of our collective consumption-it is a lot easier, for example, to imagine how many grocery bags we use every five seconds when you can see an actual picture of all 60,000. Made from several hundred photographs digitally stitched together, the images can take months to complete. But in their finished state, the results are jaw-dropping. "If we can more deeply feel the meaning behind numbers like these," says Jordan, "maybe that will enable us to make more conscious choices about the behaviors that lead to them."

NUMBERS Other images from "Running the Numbers" include the 426,000 cell phones we dispose of daily and the 106,000 aluminum cans we use every 30 seconds. LEARN MORE