Activity Introduction

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Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students build an understanding of how our demand for products can lead to environmental, social and economical issues. They investigate the life cycle of some common products and discover that they can make better selections when purchasing new items.


Teacher background information about the Garage Sale Trail: 

The Garage Sale Trail  is a national day of simultaneous garage sales that’s about making sustainability fun and creative! By organising communities around Australia to hold garage sales on the same day, the event aims to enable new neighbourly connections, provide a platform for fundraising, inspire creativity,  stimulating local economies, promote the reuse of materials and keep stuff out of landfill.  

The  Garage Sale Trail   is a not-for-profit organisation that works with local and state governments, schools and community groups to inspire social and environmental change.  Absolutely everyone can get involved - buyer


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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the 'true cost' of buying consumer products? 

The item we have chosen: 

1. What does the 'life  cycle' of a product refer to?  

2. As a group research the life cycle of your item. Find the resources used during each stage of production (extraction, production, distribution, consumption/use, and disposal). Also find out the environmental impacts of each stage.

Stage of production

Resources used (water, natural resources, energy)

Environmental impacts (deforestation, water and air pollution, loss of biodiversity, carbon emissions)

Consumption or use
Is my item sustainable?
Are there alternative products that could be used instead?

3. Next, design a way to communicate what you have learnt and convince people to make an informed decision when they purchase the item. You could create an advertisement, label for the product, PowerP


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