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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Calculating Your Foodometer

Lesson Description:
foodometer Students will be able to:
  • Develop an understanding of the environmental impact of travel.
  • Apply basic math and problem solving strategies.
  • Examine management techniques for fossil fuels usage.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of maps and their uses.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion

Sustainability Topic:
  • Other

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge
  • I Ride Green

Time Needed:
Two to three 50 minute class periods
Standards Addressed:
  • Health standard 2: know environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health.
  • Benchmark #3: know local, state, federal, and international efforts to contain an environmental crisis and prevent a recurrence (e.g., acid rain, oil spills, solid waste contamination, nuclear leaks, ozone depletion).

  • Math standard 1: uses a variety of strategies in the problem-solving process.
  • Benchmark #1: understand how to break a complex problem into simpler parts or use a similar problem type to solve a problem.
  • Benchmark #2: use a variety of strategies to understand problem-solving situations and processes (e.g., considers different strategies and approaches to a problem, restates problem from various perspectives).

  • Math standard 3: use basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation.
  • Benchmark #4: select and uses appropriate computational methods (e.g., mental, paper and pencil, calculator, computer) for a given situation.

  • Science standard 9: understand the sources and properties of energy.
  • Benchmark #11: understand the origins and environmental impacts of renewable and nonrenewable resources, including energy sources like fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas).

  • Science standard 14: understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
  • Benchmark # 1: understand the environmental consequences of people changing the physical environment (e.g., the effects of ozone depletion, climate change, deforestation, land degradation, soil salinization and acidification, ocean pollution, groundwater-quality decline, using natural wetlands for recreational and housing development).
  • Benchmark #4: understand the environmental consequences of both the unintended and intended outcomes of major technological changes in human history (e.g., the effects of automobiles using fossil fuels, nuclear power plants creating the problem of nuclear-waste storage, the use of steel-tipped plows or the expansion of the amount of land brought into agriculture).

  • Geography standard 16: understand the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources.
  • Benchmark #1: understand the reasons for conflicting viewpoints regarding how resources should be used (e.g., attitudes toward electric cars, water-rationing, urban public transportation, use of fossil fuels, excessive timber cutting in old growth forests, buffalo in the western united states, soil conservation in semiarid areas).
  • Benchmark #2: know strategies for wise management and use of renewable, flow, and nonrenewable resources (e.g., wise management of agricultural soils, fossil fuels, and alternative energy sources; community programs for recycling or reusing materials).

  • Geography standard 2: know the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment.
  • Benchmark #1: know the location of physical and human features on maps and globes (e.g., culture hearths such as mesopotamia, huang ho, the yucatan peninsula, the nile valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns; land forms; climate regions).

Materials Needed:
  • "Where does your food come from” worksheets provided below
  • “Calculating your foodometer” worksheet provided below
  • “Food mile challenge" worksheet provided below

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Also, try as a resource to calculate distance.
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf CalcYourFoodometerSheet.pdf
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf FoodMileChallenge.pdf
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf Foodometer Worksheet 1.pdf
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf WhereDoesFoodComeFrom2.pdf
Located in: Health | Math | Social Studies | Science

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