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Topics

  • Climate Science

Regional Focus

  • Global

Carbon Check: Your Carbon Footprint

Author: Biointeractive
Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Earth Science
Format: Google Docs
Resource Types:
  • Activity
  • Worksheet
Synopsis
  • This activity provides students a way to perform a carbon check to evaluate their own carbon footprint and provides ways for them to reduce it. In this carbon footprint activity, students: 
    • Perform a carbon check to calculate the carbon footprint their household is responsible for by entering data into an online calculator
    • Suggest ways for reducing their carbon footprint.
    • Contains a carbon footprint activity worksheet on a Google Doc.

Teaching Tips

Positives

  • A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. The recommendations at the end of the carbon check tool are interesting and can lead to good discussions about the impacts of different changes and the costs associated with those changes.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The “Resource Google Folder” link directs to a Google Drive folder of resource documents in the Google Docs format. Not all downloadable documents for the resource may be available in this format.
  • The Google Drive folder is set as “View Only”; to save a copy of a document in this folder to your Google Drive, open that document, then select File → “Make a copy.” These documents can be copied, modified, and distributed online following the Terms of Use listed on the resource website.

Differentiation

  • The ecological footprint calculator is fairly complex and will probably require students to speak with family members to gather the necessary information to complete the carbon check. An alternative would be for students to make up (realistic) numbers and see what changes have the biggest impacts on reducing carbon emissions.

Additional Resources

  • While it is important for students to perform projects to help them understand what they are responsible for when it comes to a carbon check, actionable solutions should also be provided. Here is an additional resource that provides sustainability projects for students about food waste and consumption. This resource helps achieve SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. It also includes small changes students can make now and in their future.
Scientist Notes
This carbon check resource is very comprehensive and gives insights to students to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide they produce in the course of their daily activities. The carbon check resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

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Questions

  • Do you have any suggestions on what unit this resource can be used in if you are a chemistry teacher?
    6 months ago