Students around the world learn about the Ecological Footprint in elementary, secondary, and university classrooms.
From sociology to ecology, students in a wide variety of classes are assigned to use our online calculator to measure their personal Ecological Footprints, discover their biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what they can do to tread more lightly on the Earth.
Every semester I have my students calculate their Footprint, change their lifestyle for one week to decrease that Footprint, then compare the results and how it would impact the number of people that could sustainably exist on the planet. Students are shocked when they discover their results. The fact that it is personal and tells them how many planets we would need if everyone on the planet lived as they do drives home the issue better than I ever could in lecture.
Jessica Piekielek of Southern Oregon University asks sociology and anthropology students to calculate Footprints based in other countries to compare and discuss results. Kirsten Balding at RMIT University in Melbourne,... More ›
Reports card’s out! High schools around the world are starting to integrate the Footprint calculators into their curriculums. Governments and organizations, including the United Nations and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,... More ›
Lessons for different educational levels and ages
Footprint Futures Module
Footprint Futures is a university-level teaching module for exploring the sustainability challenge facing human economies. The module consists of a student-driven exploration into what the optimal scale of material demand is for a national economy, using real country examples. More specifically, it asks: What would be a given country’s optimal Footprint compared to the country’s biocapacity by 2050?
The World’s Largest Lesson is a collection of lesson plans and other teaching resources related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by world leaders in 2015 to to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and stem climate change. The Understanding Sustainable Living lesson was developed for ages 11-14 to address goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production. The lesson plan features the Footprint calculator and profiles of four children around the world for class discussion.
Hands-on activities and videos to learn about the Ecological Footprint, climate change, and what we can do to create a sustainable planet.
The Fish Game
You have 10 days to catch as many fish as you can. The money you make from these fish will need to support your family for the next month. Each fish nets $2. The Fish Game, created by the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, helps kids and adults better understand resource constraints and sustainability. Play the game online and find out how to make the most out of your resources!