Human Impact Sustainability Project: An Investigation of Carbon Footprints

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • PDF
13 pages
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In this sustainability project, students will calculate an estimate of their personal carbon footprint and compare it to the national average of others similar to them. They will design a short-term action plan for decreasing their carbon footprint, and present to their peers for feedback. Their plans will be refined and students will implement their short-term action plan for ten days over a month long period, documenting their experience by collecting artifacts. At the completion of their short-term action plan, students will write reflections about their experiences and the connections they see to global human impact and sustainability. Internet research and an online carbon footprint calculator will be necessary to complete this project so that students can provide significant evidence for the claims they make and ideas they present in their reflections.

*NOTE* Do not purchase if you have already purchased my Ecology Unit Bundle or Biology Complete Curriculum Bundle because you already have this product!


  • 5 pages of teacher implementation notes, including accommodations (PDF)
  • 5 pages of student handouts and rubrics (PDF)
  • Sample student work (PDF)

Why should I use this product in my classroom?

I love using this product in my classroom because it gives the students an opportunity to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to their own lives. They also reflect on the individual impact they are having on the environment and ways they could contribute to decreasing human impact.

How does this connect to NGSS*?

This project was written to address the following standard:

  • HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

It also incorporates the following science and engineering practices:

  • Ask questions and define problems
  • Plan and carry out investigations
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Use mathematics and computational thinking
  • Construct explanations and design solutions
  • Engage in argument for evidence
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information

Lastly, it connects to the following crosscutting concepts:

  • Cause and effect
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Stability and change

What if I want more?

This product is part of my Ecology Unit bundle. Be sure to check it out by clicking here!

What if I have a question?

Email me at I’d love to answer any questions you have!

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Follow me on TpT, join my email list, or follow me on Instagram. These are the three best ways to keep up with what’s happening at It’s Not Rocket Science!


You may:

  • Use this item for your own classroom, students, or for your own personal use.
  • Buy additional licenses for others to use this product at a discount by visiting your TpT “My Purchases” page.
  • Review this product to recommend others buy it in blog posts, at professional development workshops, or other venues as long as credit is given to my store with a direct link to my store/product.

You may not:

  • Upload this product to any unsecured website or server that other teachers can access for free.
  • Give this product to others without the purchase of an additional license for them (this includes emailing, printing copies, or sharing through a website, cloud or other network.)
  • Copy or modify any part of this document to offer others for free or for sale.

*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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