Resources for PreK-8 Activity 73 – Waste Watchers

Energy seems easy to use, but obtaining it is often not easy on the environment. When we reduce the amount of energy we use, we decrease the pollution that results from producing that energy. In this activity, your students conduct an audit of the energy they use in their own homes and create an action plan to reduce energy use.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Home Audit (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Auditoria del Hogar (PDF)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • EnergyKids

    Developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, EnergyKids provides a wide range of articles and resources about energy. Students can explore energy sources, ways to use and save energy and the history of energy with games and activities that promote learning. Challenge your students with energy-related Suduko, puzzles, crossword puzzles, and word searches!

  • Climate Challenge Board Game

    Games4Sustainability can help you incorporate a sustainability-themed game in your activities to improve our understanding of important global issues today. Narrow your search from among 100+ games and simulations by filtering the games by the UN Sustainable Development Goals or use the advanced search for more options. Challenges include topics of food, climate, security and public health. For example, in the Climate Challenge, players face the crucial trade-off between long term sustainability and short-term economic growth. Provide your students with a unique challenge to problem solve and practice decision making.

  • Our Relationship with Energy

    Energy makes everything we do possible. In this TEDxMileHighWomen event, energy journalist Joran Wifs-Brock talks about Our Relationship with Energy, or as she explains, the broken relationship. Use this presentation with high school students to help them consider the ways we use energy in our own life and the communication breakdown between flipping a switch and the resources we use lighting our homes.

  • Municipal Solid Waste

    This U.S. EPA website provides in-depth information on solid waste generation, recycling, and disposal in the United States.

  • Water Calculator and Conservation Tips

    The GRACE Water Program is home to the Water Footprint Calculator, which estimates the water you use directly from the tap as well as the “virtual water” that goes into producing your food, clothing, and more. The program provides tools, tips and information on water conservation.

  • Climate Change around the World

    An article in BBC News that discusses impacts of global warming in countries around the world and in major sectors of society: health, water, food, ecosystems, coasts, and industry.

  • Energyhog.org

    The Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy Hog campaign is educating teachers, kids and parents about energy efficiency.  Why?  Saving energy lessens our dependence on foreign oil, improves our air and water quality, and reduces our energy bills.  To help spread energy efficiency in the classroom, print out Student and Teacher Guides or explore the rest of the site, including the interactive Hog and Seek game.  

  • Water Calculator

    The H2O Conserve Water Calculator is a short survey that will get you thinking about how much water you use, and how water connects to almost every aspect of your life. The Conserve Water Calculator compares individual daily water usage with the national average. It also provides suggestions of how to save more water using improved practices. Beyond the calculator, the site provides valuable educational materials and activities to engage students in water conservation issues.

  • Chemicals Around the Home

    This EPA website lets elementary and middle school students can learn about everyday chemicals found in the home. The website includes information on what to do when a chemical accident occurs in the home, ten frequently asked questions about household products, and a Test Your Knowledge quiz.

  • US EPA Wastes Website

    US EPA Wastes Website is divided into four sections – What You Can Do, Resource Conservation, Hazardous Waste, and Nonhazardous Waste – this EPA website contains information to spark classroom conversations about waste.  For example, What You Can Do has categorized resources to help consumers generate less waste in the home, in the community, at the office, in industry, and at the store.  In Your Home tells how to make environmentally friendly choices at home by “green scaping” yards and gardens and properly discarding household medical waste, electronics, used motor oil, and more.

  • EPA Tools

    EPA tools let computer users “see” air quality information on a virtual globe:

  • International Carbon Footprint Challenge

    International Carbon Footprint Challenge unites high school students worldwide as they calculate their individual footprints using an online “footprint calculator” and post class data on a world map. Students then enter discussions about their footprints and how to work toward solutions to globally shared environmental issues.

  • Functions of Forest Soil

    This informational handout, made available by Montana State University Extension Forestry, describes forest soil profiles, functions, and the effects that natural and manmade impacts can have on overall forest health. 

  • Zero Carbon

    A free app that can be downloaded for Apple devices. Zero Carbon can calculate an individual’s carbon footprint by looking at a person’s daily habits. Once you know the amount of greenhouse gases your lifestyle is producing, this app offers tips on reducing that number. Zero Carbon also shows how your statistics stack up against world averages, and it can be connected to Facebook, for sharing results.

  • Superfund for Students

    At this EPA website, students can learn about four different types of hazardous waste (groundwater contamination, surface water contamination, soil contamination, and air contamination) and how to clean up each type. Later, students can test their knowledge of hazardous wastes with the Superfund Scavenger Hunt or Superfund quiz.

  • Wind Power Information

    At www.windturbines.net , visitors can join a community of wind energy professionals and access facts, maps, information, videos, and news stories about the use of wind technology worldwide.  Check out this popular video, which describes a propeller-free turbine design that can be used in residential homes

  • Professor Sneeze: Climate Change Stories for Children

    Professor Sneeze stories were developed by the International Polar Foundation.  The interactive climate stories targeted at ages 5-12 explain ways to save energy; while the stories available for 8-12 year olds explain how energy is produced by wind, sun, and water.  Professor Sneeze’s website also features kids craft ideas and photos from areas affected by climate change.

  • Energy Quest

    Energy Quest is an effort by the California Energy Commission to provide resources to teachers and students all about energy: its different forms, how it is generated, its sources and how to protect and conserve it. The Energy Quest website is arranged in easy-to-use tabs that lead to a rich, comprehensive supply of teaching material. The website’s interactive interface is useful and educational to both teachers and students alike.

  • Easy Chart

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple or Android devices. This is a good tool for teachers and classrooms. Easily create bar, line and pie charts that you can customize, save and e-mail or upload. The charts you create can be saved using multiple color schemes and in multiple sizes. The app also works without an internet connection.

  • EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website provides an interactive carbon footprint calculator designed for use by students in middle or high school. The calculator begins by asking students to investigate some baseline data points, such as their average home energy usage, transportation habits, and waste disposal process. Then, the calculator offers ways impact reduction by offering tangible conservation tips alongside estimated annual savings. This is an excellent tool for making home connections, as well as a compliment to PLT GreenSchools!