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Database Provider

Author

EARTHDAY.org

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global

Plastic Calculator

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Synopsis
  • This interactive calculator allows students to examine their yearly plastic consumption and consider how they can decrease it.
  • Students will input their consumption of various plastic items and the amount of personal reduction they could achieve annually.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Using the calculator, students can think about pollution concretely.
  • The fields for students to fill out are enough to understand their impact but not enough to overwhelm students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This calculator does list "cigarette butts" and "feminine products" as plastic items worth measuring.
  • It may help students to measure their usage of these products weeks before using this calculator.

Differentiation

  • This interactive calculator can fit within a larger unit on different types of pollution and their environmental impacts.
  • Teachers can help students write SMART goals to reduce their plastic usage, record their monthly usage, and then write an essay detailing their results.
  • Students can research policies or movements that would regulate plastic manufacturing effectively and eco-friendly.
  • To help students understand the importance of reducing plastic usage, they can research the impacts of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems.
Scientist Notes
With this resource, users can calculate their plastic use of certain items for a year. Users can then estimate how much plastic waste they can reduce by using these items less often. While users cannot add their items to the calculator, the site describes how to do the calculations if users want to look at their consumption of other items. The site briefly discusses plastic pollution and provides links to more information. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.14.a: Evaluate the impact of individual, business, and government decisions and actions on the environment and climate change and assess the efficacy of government policies and agencies in New Jersey and the United States in addressing these decisions.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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