Treading lightly on the Earth

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School:  Yaqan Nukiy

What does it mean to have tread lightly on the earth?  This week Ms Dunham’s grade 6/7 class at Yaqan Nukiy were exploring the idea around the Ecofootprint.  The Ecofootprint calculates the resource use and compares it the the Earth’s capacity for biological regeneration.  This can be calculated for an individual, businesses, and countries.  Metrics that go into this calculations are water, energy, transportation, food, waste/resources.  While describing different ecological footprints, students already had an idea if they were the ‘big boot, ‘medium boot’ or ‘small boot’.  We then got to test it out using a footprint calculator.  Sometimes this is quite shocking to see how big our footprints are in Canada compared to many other places in the world.

The students then had some great ideas of how they would live well while reducing their footprint. Examples like:

  • taking the bus to school
  • turn off the lights when you leave the room
  • try out some vegetarian meals
  • reduce food waste
  • rethinking whether you need a new toy
  • hang dry laundry

Meanwhile the grade 4/5 class did their presentations on lifecyle of stuff.  We know that everything we use comes from the earth but how is it made?  The jeans and pencil groups did entertaining skits to illustrate the lifecycle of these products.  The aluminum can, glass bottle, battery and soccer ball all did computer presentations where they explored how these products get from the earth to our houses. All the groups were surprised by the complexity of making everyday items.  This project brought new light to how we we interact with the consumer goods around us.