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Once students have realized how many natural resources they are using, the teacher introduces the concept of ecological footprint and students identify ways to calculate it.

The Earth seems to be a large place. For this reason, people may think the Earth will always supply all the things we need to keep our style of life. How about the plants and animals that live here? Is there enough for all of us? How much of the Earth is actually available to produce the food we need and to clean up our waste? What is your guess; 100 % of the surface, 50%, less?

a) Working on the idea of ecological footprint and the ability of Earth to process our waste.

b) Calculating our own ecological footprint.

Students will work out on the calculation of their own ecological footprint (they can try to involve some neighbors in the survey in order to make comparisons as well).
Following the adapted survey, students calculate the planet surface necessary to cover all demands of natural resources and to absorb the waste they produce. Initially the result is expressed in hectares, but, to make it easier to visualize the amount of land it represents, the protocol suggests to calculate the amount of football grounds that this ecological foot print (EFP) represents.

 

c) What are we doing with the planet? Global ecological footprint

The class can calculate the average footprint and the way to reduce it. Conclusions, ideas and suggestions can be represented in a poster or presentation. Additional workshops can be organized to think deeper about what is a good life or what sustainability means