Stepping lightly through Nature (advanced)

Link to Teacher's Guide /  by Ron Mastine



Everyday we do something important for our future.

We work, we study, we exercise, we recycle; all important steps for our future. One concern you may have heard about is your carbon footprint.

A carbon footprint is a way of measuring the impact our lives have on the environment in terms of emitting carbon, especially CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

Carbon is emitted by the vehicles we use, the manufacture of products we consume, cigarette smoke of course, but also by energy generators to keep us warm or provide electricity, etc.


You will begin your investigation by looking into the concept and answering these questions: How deep is your footprint? How is it suggested that you make a difference? Are you taking appropriate measures to preserve the environment? Should you pay to help offset (correct) your carbon footprint? How much of a difference can you really make?


Using the response outline, view and respond to the content of these videos.



  1. Check out the response outline.
  2. Complete the reactions, connections, language and description of what happened while and after viewing each video below.
  3. In groups of 4, share and discuss your responses
  4. complete the looking back … and appreciation sections.





3) Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

How You Can Lower Your C02 Contributions to the Environment


            4) How to be green and reduce your carbon foot print Description: Trying to reduce your carbon footprint? Here's a hilarious look at how to be green.




In this quest, you will calculate your footprint and create a plan to minimize your carbon footprint. 


 leading to a Product that responds to the Task


Something to think about!


Transportation accounts for 33 percent of CO2 emissions in the United States [source: EIA], so many people try to lower their mileage.

Do you walk  or bike  whenever possible; carpool , take public transport  or use fuel-efficient cars  ?


Home energy use accounts for 21 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions [source: EIA], so it helps to have an efficient home.

In your home, do you set the thermostat at a moderate temperature , have good insulation  double-paned windows  compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) , energy-efficient appliances  and green power sources (hydro , windmills , solar panels , … ) to help lower energy consumption.


Of course, individual efforts to reduce emissions can go only so far. Cutting CO2 and other greenhouse gases down to safer levels requires significant government regulation.

How could you influence changes in your town… in your country?  ________________________________________________________________________________

  (adapted from )






To find out more and continue your investigation, visit this site.

How Carbon Footprints Work


If you are having difficulties with the language, here is an alternative site that is easier to understand:


What is your Carbon Budget? This is a Canadian calculator that is more adapted to our geographical location and climate. 



With the information you have gathered, explain your Carbon Footprint and develop a personal plan of steps and actions you could do to minimize your Carbon Footprint.






Becoming more aware and responsible for your environment and the space you share with others is an important step to being a responsible citizen, good neighbour and even a healthier individual. Can you think of other ways to improve your life and that of the ones around you?




Project Rubric

Criteria                                     Level


Acceptable  (60 – 75)

Well-done  (76 – 95)

Excellent   (95-100)

Responses to videos demonstrate reflection, analysis and a general understanding of the concepts.

Absence of or near absence of…

Evidence of some…

Several elements in support of …

Thorough, insightful, complete, …

Effective participation in discussions





Explanation involved a series of pertinent items and descriptions





Plan was thorough, multi-faceted and realistic.