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Sustainability Activities


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Where/How Do We Live: The Power of Ads and Sustainability
Arlene Plevin, Olympia College
This writing/thinking activity invites students to consider the power of advertisements and how they live in the world. Beginning with deconstructing ads, this activity has students appreciating the power of visual rhetoric and what strategies might be employed to persuade them. Students consider the cultural milieu of ads and the concepts of sustainability they promote (or don't).

River of the Dammed
Kallina Dunkle, Austin Peay State University
This activity is designed to engage students in an active debate about land use and planning, human populations, ecosystems, and sustainability by assigning every student to a "community" along a ...

Activity Option 2.1 - Batteries as an Example of Consumer Demand and Mineral Supply
Joy Branlund, Southwestern Illinois College
Changes in rechargeable battery technology have dictated the supply and demand of commodities such as lithium, cobalt, cadmium, nickel, and lead. Students will study the changing technologies and other societal ...

Activity Option 2.2 - Rare Earth Elements: Critical Elements of the Future
PRAJUKTI Bhattacharyya, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
This activity is based on the global supply and demand relationships of rare earth elements (REE). Students will work in small groups to analyze China's role in global REE production and supply, and how REE ...

Activity 1.3 - Economic Development and Resource Use
Leah Joseph, Ursinus College; Joy Branlund, Southwestern Illinois College
This short activity (10–15 minutes) for Unit 1 introduces students to the general relationship between economic development and resource use, and, particularly with the follow-up homework, the relationship ...

Race, Class, Gender and the Earth Crisis: Sustainability and Social Justice Meet
Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Seattle University
Students work collaboratively to construct knowledge about the intersection of social justice and ecological integrity. Students will chose a consumer product that has adverse ecological and social justice impacts and develop a set of proposals for action that would challenge, dismantle or diminish those adverse consequences.

The Sustainability Triangle: How Do We Apply Science to Decision Making?
Brian Naasz, Pacific Lutheran University
This writing assignment uses the "Sustainable Development Triangle" as a framework to critically evaluate an environmental issue of the student's choice. This learning activity provides an opportunity for an introductory chemistry student to use the sustainability's "Triple Bottom Line" as a tool to use material learned in the classroom to look at how environmental science helps inform economic and social/cultural factors in the development of sustainable solutions to our environmental challenges.

Seminar on Sustainability in Europe: What are the Limits of Possibility?
Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
This field trip presents a model of an experiential exploration of sustainability systems and the limits of possible transfer of ideas from Europe to the US. In addition to experiential learning, our aim was to have in-depth, ongoing conversations in which to examine our assumptions and observations.

Habitat for Humanity Build Day
Lori Troxel, Vanderbilt University
Teaching sustainability through Habitat for Humanity.

Using concept mapping to experientially introduce systems thinking
Meghann Jarchow, University of South Dakota
This activity uses concept mapping as a tool for students to experience the complexity that is inherent in many sustainability-related issues.

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