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This five-week project asks students to examine the environmental outcomes of their lifestyle choices, to investigate and try out more sustainable choices, and to write about their experiences.
I use the Lifestyle Project in my Introduction to Environmental Issues class. This 3-week project asks students to make changes to their everyday environmental habits. This helps students realize that they have control of their lives and they can make decisions and make changes if they want to. And, given this empowerment, students can think about their impacts on Earth and their obligations to the planet and our society.
This three-week project begins with a measurement of "baseline" consumptive behavior followed by two weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption.
Students use spreadsheets to analyze the reasons why New Orleans has subsided in the past 250 years.