Tread Lightly: Taking Stock
When it comes to opportunities to combat climate change, why not start at home? Not only do homes tend to be responsible for a large proportion of GHG emissions, but most people tend to spend a significant amount of time there. It just makes sense to go green at home. In this lesson, students will learn investigate the environmental impact of daily activities in their homes.
Time Required: 1 period
This lesson involves exploring and analysing the environmental impact of behavioural patterns and consumption choices at the household level in order to help students to:
• Develop a deeper understanding of how day-to-day decisions can impact the environment.
• Identify eco-friendly alternatives to environmentally destructive actions and decisions.
1. Divide students into 4-5 groups and assign each group one of the following rooms:
• Living room or study
Have the student brainstorm behaviours and purchases related to each room that are likely to have a negative impact on the environment, and identify eco-friendly alternatives and best practices.
To guide the brainstorming process, the following questions may be helpful:
• Kitchen: Where does your family source its food? How heavily packaged is the majority of the food your family eats? How is your food prepared? How much food tends to be wasted in your home? How many appliances do you have? How regularly do you use them? Do you recycle? Do you compost? Do you buy bottled water? How often does your family eat meat?
• Living room or study: What electronics are in the room? How much energy is wasted? Are lights left on? How often does your family watch television? How often are multiple electronic devices being used at the same time? Does your family waste paper?
• Bedroom: Where does your clothing come from? If it is cold do you tend to turn on the air conditioner or use more blankets? What is in this room? Where did it come from? How was it produced?
• Bathroom: Do your family members tend to take showers or baths? What types of personal hygiene products does your family use? How is water wasted? What chemicals are used in cleaning?
• Garage: What type of vehicle does your family have? How many vehicles does your family have? Do you carpool? How often is your vehicle’s tire pressure checked? Does your vehicle undergo regular maintenance? In the summer does your family opt to roll down the windows or turn on the air conditioner?
• General: How big is your house? What type of lighting is in place? What products does your family use to clean this room? What are some other ways you could reduce waste other than recycling?
2. Have the groups take turns presenting their lists to the class, allowing time for students from other groups to contribute additional ideas.
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