MS. TISH TABLAN
INTEGRATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
Creating an individualized action plan to reduce your footprint
Objectives: Use the environmental footprint to summarize and conclude all the information students learned
throughout the environmental science class, and apply this to their daily individual choices and actions. This
lesson would serve as a final project in my class.
Grade Level: 9-12
Subject: Environmental Science
Materials: colored paper, markers, and general art supplies, “Transportation Footprint” worksheet, computers
and internet access, “Eco-Lunch” worksheet
Part One: Footprint Quiz - After being introduced to all different environmental concepts, especially those
focused on in the EF, the students will calculate their individual environmental footprints. Students will access
the internet, go to www.myfootprint.org, and take the quiz. The teacher may have to prepare the students teaching some of the concepts (such as green-designed residence and organic food) and by having students
estimate the size of their houses and the distances they travel during the week ahead of time. After the students
find out their ecological footprint, have the students create a visual or poster to put up in the classroom that
illustrates how many planets and how many acres their lifestyles use up. The students will also write a
reaction/reflection on the amount of land their lifestyle creates.
Part Two: Reducing My Footprint Plan – As a final project the students will create a report on how they plan to reduce their environmental footprints in each of the four categories (Mobility, Goods, Food, and Shelter). In
my class the students have already discussed the environmental issues relating to each topic and many solutions.
In this assignment they will list specific actions they can take to reduce their footprints and then try to estimate
what their new footprint would be if they implemented these changes. They will compile and include numbers
and information they had previously calculated in my class. Those assignments are included below.
Transportation-“Mobility Footprint”- I created a lesson in which the students calculate how many miles they travel in a typical week and how much pollution is created from their local transportation. Air travel was not
included because it was not applicable for my student population.
Goods-“Landfill Lunch”- The students in my class did a waste audit and found that food packaging was the
primary source of non-recyclable trash in the school. I designed an activity in which the students examined
their typical lunches for the amount of waste created and then tried to design an eco-lunch that created the least
amount of trash and used the least amount of resources and energy.
Shelter-“Water Use Calculator”- Although water use is not included in the EF quiz, I let them include it in their report because it was an important topic that we covered in class. It is also something they can implement
easily and immediately to make a big impact on their overall environmental footprint.
The students can go to the website http://www.tampagov.net/dept_water/conservation_education/ and click on
Usage Calculator to get an estimate of their water use. “Power Calculator”-The students estimate their electricity use in their household and are encouraged to bring
in electric bills from home. They also do research online to find ways to reduce their electricity use.
Students can use the website http://www.consumerspower.org/home_energy/billestimator.php.
Food-“Conventional vs. Locally grown, organic potato”, “Hamburgers, Fries, and a Cola” – The students
in my class go over all the resources involved in creating a fast food meal. They read the article “America’s
Favorite Meal” (an excerpt from “The Secret Lives of Everyday Things”) and discuss all the resources involved
in creating it. They compare the resources needed for a conventionally grown potato and a locally, grown
organic potato. The students then go work in the organic community garden we have in our school and I
encourage them to start gardens in their own homes and communities.
REDUCE MY FOOTPRINT FINAL PROJECT OUTLINE
? Describe your total footprint, and how many planets we would need
? List what your footprint was for each category. Explain what your biggest category was and why you think
that was the biggest
? What is your overall goal to reduce your footprint to (in acres or number of planets)? How did you come up
with that number?
FOOD: Write a paragraph that describes your food footprint and the areas you need to improve the most in.
Here are some topics you can address, but you must give at least 4 detailed examples of what exactly you
would do to reduce your footprint in this area.
? How often you eat animal products
? What do you with food waste
? How much the food is processed and packaged
? How far away the food travels to get to you or where the food comes from
? What chemicals are used on the food or in the soil
? How often you throw away uneaten food
TRANSPORTATION/MOBILITY: Write a paragraph that describes your transportation (or mobility)
footprint and the areas you need to improve the most in. Here are some topics you can address, but you must
give at least 4 detailed examples of what exactly you would do to reduce your footprint in this area.
? Number of miles you ride in a car per week
? Number of miles you ride in a bus per week
? Amount of gas used per week
? Amount of air pollution created from transportation per week
? How many people ride in your car
? How fuel efficient your car is
? How far and how often you ride in a plane
SHELTER/ENERGY USE: Write a paragraph that describes your shelter footprint and what areas you need to
improve the most in. Here are some topics you can address, but you must give at least 4 detailed examples of
what exactly you would. Use ideas from Eco-Home and from the California ScienCenter exhibits
? The energy efficiency of house
? How many people live in the house
? What kind and how many appliances and electronics you have
? How often you use appliances and electronics
? How your house is heated, cooled, and insulated
? What type of lighting you have and how often you use it
? What type of energy source your electricity comes from
? Water efficiency inside and outside the house
? What type of plants, lawn, and garden you have
? Water efficiency in lawn and garden
GOODS/SERVICES: Write a paragraph that describes your shelter footprint and what areas you need to improve the most in. Here are some topics you can address, but you must give at least 4 detailed examples of
what exactly you would.
? How an item is packaged and how to dispose of packaging
? What the items are made of and how the item can be disposed of
? How many toxic materials or chemicals are in the product
? If you really need the product
? What you do with products when you are “done” with them
What is the impact you make on earth from your weekly transportation needs?
1. Calculate the miles you travel by CAR each DAY. Go to www.mapquest.com. Multiply the distance between two places by 2 to calculate the round-trip mileage.
CAR Miles/day 2.Calculate the miles you travel by CAR each WEEK. Multiply your answer to #1 by 7.
CAR Miles/wk 3. Find out what the gas mileage is for the car that you usually drive in. Go to www.fueleconomy.gov to look up your car.
Miles/gallon 4. Calculate how many total miles passengers get from your car trips. Multiply your answer to #3 by the number of people that usually ride in the car. Multiply by 1 if you ride by yourself usually. Total Passenger
miles/gallon 5. Calculate how many gallons of gas you personally use from your weekly CAR trips. Divide the answer #2 (car miles/wk) by the answer to #4 (passenger miles/gall).
Gallons/week by car 6. Calculate how many pounds of pollution (carbon dioxide) is put into the air from your weekly travels. Since each gallon of gas used gives off 18 pounds of carbon dioxide, Multiply the answer to #5 by 18. Pounds of air
1. Calculate the miles you travel by BUS each DAY. Go to www.mapquest.com. Multiply the distance between two places by 2 to calculate the round-trip mileage.
BUS Miles/day 2.Calculate the miles you travel by BUS each WEEK. Multiply your answer to #1 by 7.
BUS Miles/wk 3. The gas mileage for an average city bus is lower than cars, but it makes up for it by carrying so many people. Buses average 4 miles per gallon 4
Miles/gallon 4. Calculate how many total miles passengers get from your bus trips. Since buses can fit up to 35 passengers, Multiply the bus’s gas mileage (4 mpg) by 35.
miles/gallon 5. Calculate how many gallons of gas you personally use from your weekly BUS trips. Divide the answer #2 (car miles/wk) by the answer to #4 (passenger miles/gall).
Gallons/week by bus 6. Calculate how many pounds of pollution (carbon dioxide) is put into the air from your weekly travels. Since each gallon of gas used gives off 18 pounds of carbon dioxide, Multiply the answer to #5 by 18. Pounds of air
WEEKLY TRANSPORTATION POLLUTION
1. Calculate the total amount of gas used per week. Add together both answers to #5
Weekly gallons used 2.Calculate the total amount of air pollution created per week from transportation.
Add together both answers to #6. Weekly pounds of
Air pollution made
How much waste does your USUAL LUNCH Description Points lunch create?
LUNCH DIRECTIONS: In our school, CONTAINER food packaging creates more MAIN MEAL than half of all trash. You can
help reduce the total trash
created at our school by SIDE DISH reducing the trash in your own lunch.
In the first chart describe your
usual or typical lunch. Describe NAPKINS, the container that you would use SILVERWARE,
or the trash involved for each CONDIMENTS
part of your lunch. TOTAL POINTS In the second chart you are ECO-LUNCH Description Points going to design the most trash-
free lunch you can that also uses LUNCH the least amount of energy, CONTAINER resources, and trash. If you can
eliminate the container MAIN MEAL
completely, that earns the most
points. The more you can reuse SIDE DISH the container, the more points you earn. Only recycling earns
very few points, and trash earns DRINK
NAPKINS, The student that earns the most SILVERWARE, points and can create the most eco-CONDIMENTS friendly lunch will get rewarded!! TOTAL POINTS
5 points: REDUCE (no container or material used)
4 points: LONG REUSE (lasts more than 1 year)
3 points: SHORT REUSE & RECYCLE
2 points: SHORT REUSE (lasts less than 1 year)
1 point: RECYCLE ONLY
0 points: TRASH (goes to a landfill)
WATER USE CALCULATOR
(Copied from http://www.tampagov.net/dept_water/conservation_education/)
1. Total number of people in your household. (Required)
INDOOR WATER USE
BATHROOM 1. How many showers are taken each day in your household?
2. What is the average length (in minutes) of each shower. Enter 6.3 if you are unsure. 3. What is the flow rate (gallons per minute) of your showerhead? Enter 5 for standard showerhead; 2 for low flow. 4. Total number of baths taken each week by members of your household.
1. Average number of times each person flushes a toilet in your house per day. Enter 4 if you are unsure. 2. How many gallons does your toilet use per flush? Enter 5 if you have a standard toilet; 1.6 if you have a low volume toilet.
FAUCETS 1. How many times each day does each household member use faucets to shave, brush teeth, wash hands and face? 2. How many minutes does the water run during each use?
1. How many times are dishes washed by hand each day?
2. How many minutes does the water run during each wash?
3. If you have a dishwasher, how many times is it used each week?
4. The average dishwasher uses 15 gallons of water per load, change this if yours is different. LAUNDRY 1. How many loads of laundry are done by members of your household each week.
2. The average washing machine uses 55 gallons of water per load, change this number if yours is different.
OUTDOOR WATER USE
LAWN WATERING & OTHER USES
1. How many times is your lawn watered each week?
2. How many minutes is the lawn watered per watering?
3. Water is also used outdoors to wash cars, fill pools, rinse outdoor furniture and clean equipment. Estimate the average number of
minutes water is used outdoors for purposes other than watering each week.
Press the Calculate button to compute your overall water use.
PER CAPITA DAILY WATER USE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD (gallons)
INDOOR WATER USE OUTDOOR WATER USE
Bathroom Lawn Watering
Toilets Other Outdoor Uses
Faucets GENERAL WATER USE
Hand Washing Dishes
Click one of the categories above to learn how to reduce your water usage.
COMPARISON BETWEEN YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND
THE TAMPA AVERAGE* HOUSEHOLD
Your House Tampa
Interior per capita gallons per day 64
Exterior per capita gallons per day 40
Total Per Capita Gallons of Water Used in the House
Per Day Per Month Per Year
*Based on Tampa Water Department data.
(Copied from http://www.consumerspower.org/home_energy/billestimator.php)
To calculate an estimated monthly electrical bill for your home, please select a QUANTITY in the applicable
Electrically Powered Items field. Once you've filled out the fields that are relevant to your home, click the
"Calculate" button at the bottom of this form. This will give you both an estimated monthly KWh usage and bill
for your home (for an average family of four).
Electrically Powered Items
Average monthly KWh
Range / Oven 104
Hot Water Dispenser 49
Coffee Maker 19
Electrically Powered Items
Average monthly KWh KWh/month $/month Stereo 5
TV 19" 18
TV 25" 26.6
TV 35" 39.4
Electrically Powered Items
KWh/load KWh/month $/month
Washing cold / cold 0.33
Washing warm / cold 3.0
Washing hot / cold 5.0
Washing warm / warm 6.0
Washing hot / warm 7.0
Electrically Powered Items
Average monthly KWh KWh/month $/month Lighting # of Rooms 10
Outdoor Light 175 w 60
Outdoor Light 250 w 87
Electrically Powered Items
Average monthly KWh KWh/month $/month Hot Tub 600
Window Air Conditioner 134
Ceiling Fan 85
Electric Blanket 22
24" Box Fan 30.6
Water Bed Heater 175
# of Water Heaters 220
Water Heater (# of People) 110
Estimated monthly household* usage: kWh; Estimated monthly household* bill: Estimated monthly heating usage: kWh Estimated monthly heating bill: $ ESTIMATED MONTHLY KWh USAGE
ESTIMATED MONTHLY BILL* $
* Monthly bill includes basic service charge and tiered usage discounts, where applicable. Estimates are based
on national average.