Footprint Futures

Footprint Futures
The key stage 2 and 3 eco-footprint teaching resource from the Centre for Alternative Technology

Other Slide Show Activities

  • Footprints
    This slide show explains what eco footprints and carbon footprints are.
    (From module Module 1: The Big Picture)
  • The Big Picture
    This slide shows some of the major global environmental issues in a nutshell.
    (From module Module 1: The Big Picture)
  • Myth busting
    This slide show explains why recycling and switching off the lights isn’t going to save the planet!
    (From module Module 1: The Big Picture)
  • Transport Footprints
    This slide show introduces how we use transport and the impact it has.
    (From module Module 2: Transport)
  • Sustainable Transport
    This slide show introduces some sustainable transport solutions.
    (From module Module 2: Transport)
  • Energy Footprints
    This slide show demonstrates how most of our energy is currently produced in the UK.
    (From module Module 3: Energy)
  • Renewable Energy
    This slide show introduces some sources of renewable energy.
    (From module Module 3: Energy)
  • Building Footprints
    This slide show demonstrates the sustainability issues behind a lot of the buildings we have in the UK.
    (From module Module 4: Buildings)
  • Eco Buildings
    This slide show illustrates several types of eco buildings and eco refurbishments.
    (From module Module 4: Buildings)
  • ‘Stuff’ Footprints
    This slide show draws attention to some of the wider global impacts of the stuff that we buy.
    (From module Module 6: Stuff)
  • Good Stuff
    This slide show draws attention to some sustainable examples of the ‘stuff’ that we buy, including organic and Fair Trade products.
    (From module Module 6: Stuff)
  • Food Footprints
    This slide show demonstrates the sustainability issues behind much of the food we produce and consume in the UK.
    (From module Module 5: Food)
  • Global Footprints
    This slide show recaps some of the major sustainability issues they have studied over the project.
    (From module Module 7: Think Global, Act Local)

Things needed for this Module...

Solar Power Cans:
  • 4 aluminium drink cans of which:
    • 3 are painted with matt black paint (or blackboard paint) of which:
    • 2 have been insulated with pieces of insulation that is safe to handle – sheeps wool for example covering the back half or two thirds of the can of which:
    • 1 is placed in a clear plastic bag or container  such as a clear 2l bottle with the bottom cut off
  • Thermometer
  • Recording sheet
The Green House:
  • Downloadable activity from CAT (coming soon)
Walk the walk:
Regional plan - energy:
  • Hopefully the mystery guest will be able to stay for this session
  • Maps and aerial floor photo mats if you have them
  • Variety of media for recording
Power Up! – Solar Power:
  • Whole class in groups
  • Small photovoltaic cells, motors, crocodile clips and propellers (available from the Centre for Alternative Technology shop and other education suppliers)
  • Clean floatable materials – eg plastic bottles (with lids), cartons and cups and containers, rubber bands
Power Up – Wind Power:
  • EPK20850
    ‘Wind Kit’ from the Centre for Alternative Technology
    (or a wind power kit from another education supplier)
  • Bits of corriflute plastic and/or other suitable scrap materials like thin card and plastic, scissors, tape.
  • Large electric fan with wide blades, the ones which come in cages designed to sit on the floor are best. (tall bathroom fans with thin blades will not work so well.)
Mystery Guest:
  • Mystery guest from the sustainable energy industry. This could be someone who works to install renewable energy systems, or an engineer who designs them. It could be someone from the council with responsibility for energy efficiency, or someone who promotes energy efficiency. Or it could be someone from a local group such as Friends of the Earth.

Useful Websites

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<< Module Overview

Module 3: Energy

Walk the walk

Walk the walk

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What to do:

This is activity has been adapted from one by George Marshall.

You can split this activity into two halves if you like.

First half

Begin by referring to the last slide in the 'Energy Footprints' slide show which demonstrates global CO2 emissions per capita, per country. Take pupils into the hall or the playground. Each pupil chooses a country to represent, and they all stand in a line against a wall. Explain that each ton of CO2 emissions is represented by one average size step. (You could practice taking steps together if you want a warm up activity and to regulate step sizes!) After a countdown, each pupil takes the correct number of steps to indicate the CO2 emissions of the country they have chosen, and then stops. Of course some pupils will still be very close to the wall, and others will have travelled 30 steps.

Explain that if everyone in the world were to emit a fair share of CO2 emissions, then each person would be able to take 2.5 steps. This would mean that populations in high emitting countries would rapidly reduce their emissions, and populations in very low emitting countries would be able to increase their emissions slightly to build up basic infrastructure. (Eventually, we would then expect to reduce our global emissions to zero.)

Second half

Ask the pupil representing the UK to remind everyone how much CO2 we currently emit every year – about 11 tonnes. Explain that this activity is a way of investigating how our everyday activities contribute to this. This will help us decide which things we do to reduce our footprint will make a big difference, and which will make a small difference.

Distribute the slips of paper describing everyday activities to each pair of pupils. The activities are things like ‘average car use’ or ‘watching TV’. The pupils think about how many steps they will need to take to represent their activity. Then in turn, the pairs of pupils take the steps they think is correct. Involve the rest of the pupils to see whether they agree before revealing the correct answer from your sheet.

Allow time to discuss the results at the end. Were they surprised by anything? You will probably discover that they imagined using electrical appliances or carrier bags to have a bigger impact than they actually do, and they may be surprised to discover the impact of flying is as big as it is.


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