Eco and Carbon Footprints to the Seven Concepts of ESD
Stewardship – Students can only become good stewards
of the environment if they understand the consequences of their own lifestyle
choices. Eco and carbon footprints give students a chance to examine if
they are good stewards of the environment or if there is room for improvement.
Sustainable Change – Many of the eco and carbon footprints featured
on this website (e.g. http://www.cat.org.uk/carbongym/carbongym.tpml?section=reception)
give students the opportunity to examine options for making changes to
their individual actions which will lead to sustainable change.
Needs and Rights of Future Generations – Using eco and carbon footprints
leads to discussion and debate about best and worst case scenarios in the
future which can include examining the impact of today’s actions
on future generations.
Interdependence and Diversity – After examining the student’s
eco or carbon footprint learning could focus on specific consequences,
such as the impact global warming would have on flora, fauna and human
Uncertainty and Precaution – Eco and carbon footprint calculators
(e.g. http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fun/370863) which give students
the chance to show how small changes made in their own and their family’s
decision making, can illustrate the precautionary principle. This also
gives students the opportunity to see that planning for an uncertain future
need not mean that their quality of life will suffer.
Quality of Life, Equity and Justice – The difference between needs
and wants is illustrated well by examining the eco and carbon footprints
from countries at differing levels of development from around the world.
Eco Footprints Around the World
WWF produce a ‘Living Planet Report’ which
examines the state of the world. Follow this link to the latest report
where you will find,
on pages 4 and 5, some well laid out and easy to interpret graphs and
a map to spark debate and discussion in your classroom http://www.panda.org/downloads/general/LPR_2002.pdf.
As more and more schools around the world send in their own results you
will be able to view them here.