How to Calculate Ecological Footprints for Kids

How to Calculate Ecological Footprints for Kids
Kids enjoy nature and are born advocates for the earth. Allowing them to measure their ecological footprint is a great way for them to learn about the environment and how they can help preserve it. An ecological footprint measures the amount of land and water space needed to sustain someone's lifestyle. With online resources, it's possible for kids to measure their own footprint and find out how their actions impact the planet.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
For younger kids, log onto Kidsfootprint.org. On this site, Bobby Bigfoot takes kids through a simple quiz to calculate their ecological footprint. Whenever your child answers a question, Bobby let's them know if they made a good choice or if they could choose something better to help the environment. The site also offers kid friendly advice on how to reduce your footprint.
Step 2
For older kids, check out Zerofootprintkids.com. This site calculates five aspects of consumption: transportation, what you eat, home and school, what you use and what you throw away. The quiz takes only a few minutes to complete and asks several questions about your family's actions. Kids may need a parent's help with some of the questions, so stick close to the computer while your child goes through the test.
Step 3
Use the parent and teacher sections on both of these sites. Both sites offer resources for to help kids continue to learn about their environmental impact. These resources can be used to create lesson plans for the classroom teacher or lessons for continued exploration at home.
Step 4
Keep your kids excited about the envirnment by introducing them to the MeettheGreens.org. The Green's are a cartoon family who help kids find ways to live a more sustainably. The website offers a footprint calculator along with a weekly blog and video episodes that cover everything from the problem of packaging to eco-friendly fireworks.
 

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.