In this lesson, students think critically about carbon emission reduction strategies proposed by companies.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students define greenwashing and define carbon emission reduction strategies.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students evaluate a company’s sustainability plan in regards to carbon emission reductions.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students present their findings to the class. As a class, students generate a list of which companies will and will not receive support from the students in the future.
Students will be assessing the validity of sustainability plans within companies which helps with critical thinking skills.
Students become more informed consumers.
Teachers should try to find their school or Board of Education’s sustainability policy prior to class.
Teachers should be familiar with what a sustainability plan looks like.
Students may need help with research techniques. Teacher could give five options for students to choose from, and the students pick a company from those five options.
Students may need help picking a company to research. Students can focus on companies where they spend money, either online or in their neighborhood.
This lesson challenges students to analyze "green" claims and provides context to "net zero" greenhouse gas emission goals. Students are tasked with evaluating a company’s sustainability plan and then presenting their findings to classmates. The included video resources are well-sourced and highlight how greenwashing can mislead consumers and how "net zero" emission goals are often just a way for corporations to procrastinate on taking meaningful steps to mitigate climate change. This lesson is recommended for teaching.
This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.
Teacher displays emotion vocabulary chart and conducts a poll to check-in with students and ask how they are doing today.
Teacher presents the resource: Yale Climate Opinion Maps.
Teacher conducts another poll to check in with students.
Students answer the following questions:
Teacher tells students whether the school or Board of Education has a sustainability policy. If so, teachers can display the policy for the students to review.
Students answer if the sustainability policy includes carbon emission reduction strategies.
Students pick a company that they want to learn more about. Students should focus on familiar companies.
Students answer the following questions on a Google Slides presentation and then share with the teacher:
Does the company claim to be environmentally friendly?
Does the company have an easy-to-find sustainability policy?
Does the company include carbon emission reduction strategies in their sustainability policy?
Does this make you want to support this company more or less? Why?
Students present their findings of the company that they picked to the class.
Students participate in a class discussion, explaining why they may or may not continue to support certain companies.