Global Sustainability Curriculum – Pre-Program Activities


Activity 1: Your Environmental Footprint

How It Works

This activity will help you understand the impact that your daily life has on the environment and will introduce you to the idea of “Overshooting” the Earth’s resources. This will also show you which part of your lifestyle has the largest  impact and get you to start thinking about ways you can reduce your environmental footprint.

How You Do It

  • With the help of a parent or another knowledgeable member of the household, go to http://www.footprintcalculator.org and answer the questions to the best of your ability. Then, using your observations notebook, answer the following questions:
    • How many earths would it take to sustain your lifestyle?
    • Which category (food, shelter, mobility, goods, or services) makes up the largest part of your footprint?
  • After exploring the links provided on the site, come up with THREE ways you could lower your carbon footprint.
    • Could you eat less meat?
    • Could you choose to use alternative forms of transportation rather than your car?
    • Could you make more of an effort to buy more local products and goods?

Take Away Points

  • Every aspect of our day to day lives, from the building material of our homes to the type of car our family drives, adds to our environmental footprint.
  • As a Walking Tree Traveler, you will soon experience other lifestyles abroad, where you will be asked to closely observe how other people’s lifestyles, cultures and societies result in a different carbon footprint.
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