Lesson 1.3 Where We Stand
In order to effectively reduce one’s environmental impact, it is important to have an understanding of what that impact is in the first place. In this lesson you will calculate, compare and discuss the impacts of your ecological footprints. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: * Measure your personal ecological footprint and asses the potential impacts of your personal footprint on climate change. * Understanding how and why ecological footprints vary from country to country. * Come up with ways to reduce your ecological footprint through the Tread Lightly 40-Day Challenge. Assignment 1 1. Measure your ecological footprint using either the online calculator or the offline version provided in the handout, Ecological Footprint Quiz. 2. After calculating their ecological footprint and recording the results, contribute to the class discussion. Respond to the following questions: a. Were you surprised by the size of your ecological footprint measurement? b. How do our lifestyle choices affect climate change? c. In what ways would you and your family benefit from reducing your ecological footprints? d. How could we change our daily routines to lower our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions? e. What can we do as individuals, as a school, and as a community to reduce our ecological footprints? Assignment 2 1. Explore the Country at a Glance section of the UN Cyberschoolbus, to review the environmental statistics of different countries and how they compare to global averages. Pay special attention to the data on per capita energy consumption, water use, and carbon dioxide emissions. You can also use the handout Ecological Footprints of the World 2. Engage in the class discussion about variations in ecological footprints around the world. Respond to the following in-class discussion questions: a. How does the ecological footprint of your country compare to those of other countries? b. Why is your country's footprint the size it is? c. Are all countries contributing equally to the climate change crisis? d. Are all countries equally equipped to deal with climate change? e. Who should be responsible for environmental sustainability and climate mitigation? f. What can we do to ensure a smaller national ecological footprint? Discussion Question How can we reduce our ecological footprints at school? Contribute at least one idea to the class discussions. Extensions 1. Pick one of the countries listed in the handout, Footprints of the World. Review the information in the ecological footprints column. 2. Add your country to the class maps. To add a point: * Go to 'Maps' * Add 'City/County' * Type the name of the country into the field and click 'Find' * Scroll down to find the result * Click on the result and hit 'Add to Map' * In the 'Place Description' include the information about the Total Population and Ecological Footprint (hectares/person) * Click 'Add to Map'
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