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NowThis Earth, One Small Step


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast


YouTube Video

30 Days Without Single-Use Plastics

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  • This video follows a woman who chose to avoid single-use plastics for one month.
  • Students will learn tips for how to avoid single-use plastic, challenges that might come up, and data on plastic consumption and waste from around the globe.
Teaching Tips


  • It begins with a brief history of plastic production and waste and ends with solutions to this global problem. 
  • It shows Lucy's personal experience which makes the video relatable, but there are still expert opinions and sourced data throughout the video.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There may be an ad before or during the video.
  • Students should have a little knowledge of microplastics, plastic bag bans, and how single-use plastics can end up in our oceans and watersheds.


Scientist Notes

This resource explores the history of plastic pollution between 1950-2015. It elaborates on the impact of single-use plastic on wildlife, the ocean, waterways, and the environment. It also underscores the difficulties in recycling plastic. This resource can challenge students to advocate for a plastic-free world.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.13.6-8 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
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