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Our Changing Climate


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


Science, Social Studies

Resource Type

  • Videos, 11 minutes, 13 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

The True Cost of Coffee

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  • This video points out the many positives of traditional shade-grown coffee and details all of the ways that industrially produced coffee is damaging to the environment. 
  • Students will learn about the practices used in industrial coffee production (also used in many other industrially produced crops) that degrade the soil, damage wildlife and water quality, and make it harder for small farmers to make a living. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video points out the benefits of consumer awareness to support products that are made in a more sustainable and responsible manner.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video content ends at 9 minutes, 2 seconds. The last segment discusses other videos and content.
  • You may have to sit through commercials to view the entire video.


  • Social studies classes could use this video in lessons about the socioeconomic effects of the expansion of industrialized agriculture in developing countries.
  • Science classes could incorporate this resource into lessons about ecosystem degradation, regenerative agriculture, or sustainability.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores how some commodities have hidden environmental costs and uses coffee production as an example. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • 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.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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