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  • Unit 4 - Our Eco-Footprint Reading and Assignment Guide

    Driving Question: Living in modern society, how can an individual become more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable?

    Overview Your role in this unit will be as an efficiency expert examining wasteful practices in your family. Remember to examine sustainability through all 3 lenses: environment, culture and society, and economic.


    We will begin by examining your own familys generation of household waste and CO2 from automobiles and air-travel, and use of electricity and water. The first project assignment will be a proposal to your family on how to reduce your eco-footprint. The recommendations will follow a detailed audit of your current practices.

    Your ultimate goal in this unit is to raise awareness within your family and improve your sustainable practices when it comes to waste, water, electricity and transportation.

    Project Assignments There will be 2 INDIVIDUAL Project Assignments this unit. Detailed assignment descriptions are included in this packet.

    1) Detailed observations, diagrams, notes, data collection and analysis of your familys waste, water, electricity, and transportation

    2) Proposal to your family on how to reduce your eco-footprint. This is an individual assignment and will be worth ~45 pts.

    Other Assessments and Assignments - In class assignments and labs may or may not be collected for credit. All need to be completed in

    preparation for the Unit Test and projects - 10 in 10 quiz on vocabulary, people, and institutions - Unit test 1 FRQ and ~ 30 MCQs

    o 2 FRQs will be released 1 week before the test only one will be on your test o There will be corrections for the MCQs

    Textbook You will be using your textbook as a resource in this unit. This means that there will be very little reading from cover to cover in any chapter; rather you will be examining information specific to your investigation. Expect nightly HW assignments that ask you to delve into a specific section of your textbook and/or to do some external research to find specific examples highlighting concepts covered.

    Parts of the following chapters will be addressed (although information from any chapter may be used for research):

    Chapter 1 Science and Sustainability: An Introduction to Environmental Science

    Chapter 6 Environmental Ethics and Economics: Values and Choices

    Chapter 15 Freshwater systems and Resources

    Chapter 19 Fossil Fuels, Their Impacts, and Energy Conservation

    Chapter 22 Managing Our Waste

    Chapter 24 Sustainable Solutions

  • Vocabulary

    Chapter 1 Ecological footprint Environment Natural resources

    Nonrenewable natural resources Overshoot Renewable natural resources

    Chapter 15 Freshwater Systems and Resources Aquifers Artesian aquifer Confined aquifer Consumptive use Watershed Fresh water Groundwater

    Irrigation Nonconsumptive use Reservoir Sinkholes Surface water Unconfined aquifer Water table

    Chapter 19 Fossil Fuels, Their Impacts, and Energy Conservation Aerobic Anaerobic Electricity Energy conservation

    Energy efficiency Fossil fuels Net energy Peak oil/Hubbarts peak

    Chapter 22 Managing Our Waste Composting Electronic waste (e-waste) Hazardous waste Incineration Industrial solid waste Landfill gas Leachate Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) Municipal solid waste

    Recovery Recycling Sanitary landfills Source reduction Waste Waste management Waste stream Waste-to-energy (WTE)

    Chapter 6 Environnemental Ethics and Economics Afluenza Ecolabeling

    Economic growth Environmental ethics

  • Timeline This gives you a general idea about the timing of this unit, but not individual assignments. Note that the project and unit test are VERY CLOSE in time the project is always intended to help you review concepts and synthesize information for the test.

    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


    Eco-Footprint Unit Start

    In class: Which is more sustainable? And Country comparisons

    HW: Eco-footprint Calculation


    Due: Eco-Footprint HW

    In class: Eco-footprint and sustainability discussion

    Calculations w/o calculators

    HW: Practice Calculations, Reading Guide



    In class:

    Electricity Basics and Poster Activity

    Electricity Lab


    Due: Practice Calculations


    Water Basics

    Waste, Recycling, Compost Basics

    HW: Audits!


    Due: Electricity Audit Data

    In-class: Audit calculations and research

    HW: Finish audit calculations and research


    Due: Water and Mobility Data

    In-class: Audit calculations and research

    HW: Finish audit calculations and research



    **10 in 10 Quiz**

    Due: Waste/Recycling/Compost Data

    In-class: Audit calculations and research

    HW: Finish audit calculations and research



    Analysis and comparison of class and individual data

    Wrap-up discussions

    HW: Work on Family Fact Sheets, complete any lab report components


    Due: Lab Report with INDIVIDUAL and CLASS data

    In-class: Discussion of economic and social impacts

    HW: Family Fact Sheet



    Comparison to the world

    Discussion of large and small changes

    Environmental Law and Policies



    **Unit Test** -

    Due: Family Fact Sheets

    In-class: Finishing touches on Family Fact Sheets


    (1-h early release)

    Test corrections and Sustainable Holiday Party (bring a treat to share, but only if it home-made, and waste free)

  • The Power of One Family Due: Finished Project and Feedback from your Family are due on Monday, January 5

    Self-grade your proposal, I will double check your assessment

    What will you do for this task?

    Produce a way to present the changes that you propose to your family (for the waste, electricity, transportation, and water audit that you did).

    The presentation can take many forms. Some examples of possible presentations are:

    - Fact sheets you make to have at a family discussion - A poster you construct and present - A video you produce - A Prezi, Power Point, or other computer based presentation

    What are the requirements?

    You will be graded on the 5 components in your proposal.

    1) General appearance and formatting of the presentation, inclusion of information sources and discussion of your familys eco-footprint

    2) Discussion of your familys WATER use 3) Discussion of your familys ELECTRICITY use 4) Discussion of your familys TRANSPORTATION/CO2 production 5) Discussion of your familys WASTE production. Waste includes recycling, compost, and anything that

    goes to landfill or other trash destinations

    For the water, electricity, transportation, and waste you will need to use your audit data to:

    - Show how much is produced/used for daily and annual use (e.g. we use 135 gal water everyday, this is 5475 gal each year!)

    - Correct units must be included - You must use a subset of your overall data to highlight ONE problem for your family (e.g. Mom gets too

    many mail order catalogs which result in 132kg of recyclables each year! Or brother takes hour-long showers which results in 1567 gal water wasted each year!)

    - You must make a comparison between class and/or national data to highlight the problem with your family (e.g. Our family use 5475 gal water /year, whereas the class average was only 4500 gal/year. We are using 21% more water than our class average)

    - A graph depicting the comparison is included

    And then write a convincing argument on why your family needs to change its ways for each of the water, electricity, transportation, and waste audits:

    - An economic explanation to convince family to reduce its use (see rubric) - An environmental explanation to convince family to reduce use (see rubric) - A social explanation to convince family to reduce use (see rubric) - Present a solution that addresses the familys excess use (e.g. Mom should get off the mailing lists and

    do more online shopping. This would eliminate 132 kg of recyclable paper each year) - One solution presented is easily achievable for the family - One solution presented is ambitious and would be a stretch for the family (e.g. solar panels, replace a

    car with an electric vehicle)

  • Name _______________________________________________ Period _______

    The Power of One Family Proposal 70 pts.

    Overview, Format and Appearance

    ____/10 pts.

    ___ Aesthetically pleasing project that is in the form of a presentation, letter, film, poster, or other approved medium (0-4 pts.)

    ___ Presentation of your familys eco-footprint and what this means (0-3 pts.)

    ___ Sources of information cited correctly and bibliography included (1 pt. for in-text correctly formatted, 1 pt. for bibliography included, 1 pt. for bibliography correct)


    ____/15 pts.

    ___ Values shown for daily and annual use (1 pt.)

    ___ Units are included and correct (1 pt.)

    ___ Specific subset of data used to highlight the problem for your family (1 pt.)

    ___ Comparison made between class and/or national data (1 pt.)

    ___ Graph showing comparison included (1 pt.)

    ___ Economic explanation to convince family to reduce use (1 pt. if only use your calculation, 2 pts. If use your calculations AND figure from outside source)

    ___ Environmental explanation


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