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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Mapping the Impact

Lesson Description:
Students create a webs diagram to illustrate environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with everyday items. This activity expands the concept of "ecological footprint" to consider impacts of a given lifestyle on people and societies. Students develop ideas to reduce the ecological footprint and associated impacts related to an everyday item. 

 Students will: 
  • Identify resources, processes, and impacts embodied in material goods
  • Analyze interconnections among lifestyle, population, economy, and environment
  • Determine ways to reduce ecological footprint and other impacts associated with material goods 

Lesson Type:
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

Standards Addressed:
National Council for the Social Studies 
  • III People, Places, and Environments
  • VII Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  • IX Global Connections

National Science Education Standards
  • F Science in Personal and Social Perspectives  

Materials Needed:
  • Handout: Hamburger, Fries, and a Cola (1 per student)
  • (Optional) Cards: What Does It Take to Make? (1 per group of 3-4 students)
  • Large sheets of butcher or chart paper (1 per group)
  • Colored marking pens (3-4 per group)

School or Group:
Facing the Future (
Contact Email:
See entire unit at
Tags for searching:
Facing the Future
Located in: Social Studies | Science

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