Quick summary: In this activity students learn about the concept of environmental footprints. They will learn how to measure their impact and take steps to reduce their personal footprint. Students make comparisons between the environmental footprint of a traditional indigenous lifestyle and a modern lifestyle.
This lesson supports schools working towards their ResourceSmart Schools accreditation. By completing this lesson students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between our daily activities and the health of our environment. In this way, this lesson will help provide students with a broader context for the audits required when completing the ResourceSmart Schools accreditation.
OI.3 – Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.
OI.6 – The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future.
OI.9 – Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments.
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Overarching learning goal:
Students understand their impact on the Earth.
Students take responsibility for their personal actions.
Students compare the impact on our environment between the past resource use by Aboriginals and our current resource use.
Teacher content information: With a world population of 7 billion people and rising, we need to be concerned about the Earth’s ability to provide us all with the things we need to live, and to absorb all the waste we produce. Your environmental footprint is a measure of your personal impact on the environment. It can be defined as the amount of the earth’s surface it takes to provide everything each person uses – food, water, energy, clothes, roads, buildings etc.
The larger the footprint, the more resources needed to support that lifestyle. The ecological footprints of most developed countries require more land than is available. People in Australia have a very large footprint. Based on one estimate, the a