I'm an applied mathematician in the Department of Mathematics at Shippensburg University, a 4-year public university in Pennsylvania.
How Big is Your Breakfast Footprint? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
How does an individual calculate a carbon footprint? Can personal decisions alter the magnitude of a carbon footprint? How much does one person's carbon footprint really matter?In this module students will explore the size, value and significance of personal carbon emissions. In particular, students will estimate the carbon footprint of a breakfast meal consisting of cereal, fresh berries, milk, and fruit juice. After comparing breakfast carbon emissions values with group members and the class, students will contextualize these results through analysis of the mathematical model, comparison with known carbon "sinks" and reflection on the meaning of the output.