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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Types

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 52 seconds, CC
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

North America, United States


PDF, YouTube Video

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  • Chapter 2 of the Our Climate Our Future series includes a video and worksheet.
  • The video explores the concept of environmental footprints, showing how much land is required to support the average American's lifestyle.
  • It also compares the footprints of an average person in the United States to an average person in many other countries.
Teaching Tips


  • The video provides good analogies and the animated content is engaging.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will need to register for a free account to access the materials.
  • The concept of an ecological footprint may be a novel concept for some, so be ready to discuss this further with students. 
  • There is an answer key available for the worksheet.


  • There are related videos available for extended learning.
  • Social studies and economics classes could discuss the social norms and built-in infrastructure that may make it harder for Americans to reduce their ecological footprints, even if they don't consume a lot of "stuff".
  • Students could brainstorm ways of changing American culture and infrastructure to accommodate a more sustainable lifestyle with smaller ecological footprints.
  • Other resources on this topic include this footprint calculator, this interactive data resource about the main causes of carbon emissions, this article about food waste, and this video about individual actions
Scientist Notes

The resource explains the need to reduce lifestyles that could increase global warming and harm our planet. This resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
  • Related Resources


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    • Lovely video! watching it will help reflect on how human activities are contributing to warming up the climate fast!
      2 years ago
    • I love how this resource explains the importance of taking steps now to mitigate climate change. The animated content makes it an exciting resource to integrate into lessons.
      2 years ago
    • This resource offers a great opportunity to engage students in a conservation that centers around what we use, how we use it, is it necessary, and ultimately how we can lower our impact on the environment and climate related issues. It could easily be integrated into a lesson!
      2 years ago