The Ecological Footprint measures the amount of renewable and nonrenewable resources that are used by our activities. Ecologically productive land area is required to support everything that we eat or use, and also to absorb the wastes we create. Worldwide there are 4.7 biologically productive acres available per person, and this doesn’t include the needs of all of the plants and animals. A growing world population will reduce the number of acres available per person.
Using this lesson in your classroom
Ecological Footprint can be used as a classroom assignment or discussion. The lesson will support classroom units that examine energy use, efficiency, conservation and climate change.
Connecticut Energy Education suggests using the Ecological Footprint as an attention grabbing introduction to understanding the science of climate change or as a bridge into Student Solutions to the issues.
There are a number of documents available with this lesson. The Footprint Calculator Tool is the paper worksheet for the lesson. The Power Point is a good support for guiding students through the Calculator Tool. The Footprint Facts provides information about the consequences of our actions and changes we can make. A World of Seven Billion Activity is a good tie for helping students put their personal activities into a world perspective. The Ecological Footprint Game is a fun way for students to explore their impact on the world.
- CT Science 6.2, 6.4, 7.4, 9.6, 9.9, 10.6, NGSS EES3 grades 4,5,MS, HS and more