Investigate the carbon footprint created by 5 billion people and their cell phones.
In this lesson, students will digitally explore the environmental impact generated through the manufacture and use of cell phones across the world. Students will then make personal connections to the learning as they survey people in the community and develop a plan to reduce their own carbon footprint.
- Students will build an understanding of the carbon footprint created by personal cell phone use.
- Students will use survey results to determine the best plan of action to reduce their personal cell phone carbon footprint.
What You’ll Need
- Carbon Footprint (Presentation)
- iPhone 12 Product Environmental Report
- Lifecycle of a Cell Phone (Interactive)
- Cobalt in Congo (Video)
- Alaska Mining (Video)
- Lithium in Argentina (Video)
- The Secret Life of a Smart Phone
- Designing a Survey (Video)
- Basics of a Carbon Footprint (Teacher Resource)
- Personal digital devices
- Sticky notes
- Letter-size paper
- Whiteboard or poster paper
- Personal and collective goals
- Solutions for personal and social problems
- Teamwork and collaborative problem-solving
The student resources for this activity are available in print or digital versions. Students will need the use of computers or laptops to complete the digital student resources. Students will work in groups to explore how cell phones create a carbon footprint and how they can reduce it.
- How did the lesson change your understanding of your own cell phone usage?
- What will you do to reduce your carbon footprint?
- What is one thing you are still wondering about?
- What is the impact of keeping your phone as long as possible and recycling it versus simply reducing your phone usage?
- What are other major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Challenge students to launch a social media campaign to broadcast and actualize their personal commitments.
- Raise community awareness around reducing carbon footprints created by phone usage through the creation of posters and advertisements.