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  • Civic Education for Sustainability

  • UNIT 3: ECOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY-- Topic 2: Ecological Footprint


    The world's population grows, and should be provided with food, quality water a place to live, energy and other needs. Open spaces are decreasing, drinking water sources are becoming fewer, and the urban territories are expanding. The industrial and technological development, the agriculture expands, the increased consumption habits, all of this and more, causes a rapid depletion of the earth's natural resources and space. Moreover, a greater amount of land and water is required to assimilate the growing waste generated by humans.

    It is important that the world citizens will  realize the harsh environmental reality. Understanding the concept of ecological footprint, can increase students internalization of the shortage in worlds' space, and empower their motivation to live a more sustainable life.


    Students will be aware of the shortage in space on earth to provide humans the modern lifestyle, and will acquire the skills to
    reduce their ecological footprint. They will internalize that: "Humanity's Ecological Footprint is as much as 30 percent larger than
    nature can sustain in the long run. In other words, present consumption exceeds natural income by 30 percent and is therefore partially dependent on capital (wealth) depletion. The lavish partying by the wealthy few today means a hefty bill for everyone tomorrow", (Wackernagel and Rees 1996.p.90).


    Activity #1.       Weight your/family garbage for 7 days:

    1.1.     Compare your average waste weight to your country average per person, and  global average:

    1.2.    Suggest ways to minimize your personal waste

     Activity #2:  The 5 ‘Rs’ are 5 key factors when thinking about how to minimize your waste, Find out what  they are and give an example from your personal life.

    Activity #3.       Ecological footprint:

    3.1.     Calculate your own footprint: link to  survey

    3.2.    List of countries by ecological footprint:

    USA and Canada have a similar Ecological footprint, However one country has a deficit and the other does not. Explain why.

    3.3.  What is  the connection between Ecological footprint, Country area and population?



    2.       The story of stuff- Short movie

    3.       Waste Land- movie by Vic Moniz

    4.       טלט', מורגא', גן דואלכסנדרי א' (2009).  חינוך סביבתי וחינוך לקיימותעקרונותרעיונות ודרכי פעולה, עמודים 39-42 המשרד להגנת הסביבהמשרד החינוךנדלה מ:


    6.       קלצ'קו שרה וחובריה. (2014). יש לנו רק כדור אחד – פסולת מוצקהמשאב המים.  אוניברסיטת בר אילןמטה מל"מ ואגף מדעיםהמזכירות הפדגוגיתמשרד החינוך המרכז להוראת המדעים

     Galli, A., Giampetro, M., Goldfinger, S., Lazarus, E., Lin D., Saltelli,A.,  Wackernagel, M., Muller,F. (2016). Questioning the Ecological Footprint, Ecological Indicators,  69: 224-232

    Galli,A., Wackernagel,M.,Kotsunori,I.,Lazarus, E.(2014).Ecological Footprint: Implication s to Biodiversity,Biological Conservation, 173: 121-132

    7.       Wackernagel, M., & Rees, W. (1998). Our ecological footprint: reducing human impact on the earth (No. 9). New Society Publishers.

    UNIT 3: ECOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY-- Topic 1: Biodiversity and ConservationUNIT 4: ECONOMY-- Topic 1: Energy Sources