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Encouraging North Americans to Pollute Less, Consume Fewer Resources, and Use Less Energy since 2007.

(Better Late Than Never).
 
 

 

Teaching Resources

(Links to activities below)

The vast majority of North Americans is used to living beyond basic needs for a long time now. It is easy to understand that few adults adjusted to living in the North American mainstream will be able (or willing) to let go of this convenient and enjoyable life-style. For many decades we were convinced that we have the right and freedom to enjoy energy and resouces without restrictions to be sucessful in business, to make life more enjoyable, when the work day is over, or when we retire. And for all this time we have more or less accepted (or ignored) the damages to the environment as the price to pay. To add to this, we have been telling the younger generations since the industrial revolution that they will have it even better than us.

The changes necessary to reduce pollution levels and resource consumption to reach sustainable levels are difficult to incorporate in our lives. That is not necessarily the case for most children though. Depending on their age and upbringing, children may not be living this way yet. Mostly because they are too young to have the responsibility for, knowledge of, or control over machines that pollute. But even though we should know better, we proudly introduce our children and grand-children to activities that are known to be unsustainable or damaging to our environment. We are telling and showing our children how comfortable life can be and much fun it is to be an adult without considering the consequences. Although admired, imitated, and listened to by young children, we often are not good role models when it comes to reducing pollution, cutting the waste of resources, and decreasing the use of energy.

Despite often being aware of the negative aspects of their world, children are generally rather optimistic about the future. There is hope for our society if we can teach our children the better ways and to be their parent's and grand-parent's teachers, and if children from the very beginning know, accept, and live by the consequences of their actions.

If you teach students age 10-13 (or so) and are well informed about what pollutes, how it pollutes, and how to avoid this, here are some ideas:

PlaySurvival.org, A group game (for 10-30 people, age 10 and older) to change attitudes about the environment.

Pollution & What You Do for Fun

Heating and Cooling

How to Drive and Pollute Less

Know what you should do - Do what you can do

Personal Planet Protection Plan

 

Good movies to show:

In my experience students respond well to the following movies/documentaries. You should add some real scientific thinking to some of these at some point. While the non-documentaries are appropriate to create awareness,  they are not suitable to present the science and the facts without additional comments and teaching: 

Water World  (fiction)

The Day After Tomorrow (fiction)

The 11th Hour 

The Inconvenient Truth 

The Human Foot Print 

 

External Links

Carbon Footprint Quiz from http://www.islandwood.org

Ecological Footprint Quiz from http://www.earthday.net

http://www.storyofstuff.com: Great video to show the connections between consumption and planet destruction

WonderingMind42 -  Video series. Making scientifically sound decisions based on reasonable risk-management and critical evaluation of available data.


 

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