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Novel Coronavirus — July 23, 2021 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here.

NOTE: All Scouts Canada Staff will be on summer break from Monday, July 26 to Tuesday August 3. All offices are closed.

Track Your Carbon Footprint

The Carbon Footprint is a tool used to determine how much carbon is being used by day-to-day activities in your life. How much carbon do you think you are contributing to the environment?

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Plan

  • What day-to-day activities do you think produces carbon? 
  • Why do you think carbon is bad for the planet, and is it being tracked? 
  • Is it important to track our carbon foot

Do

  • To start off, your group will identify why and discuss the importance of carbon footprints, and carbon tracking.  
  • Using the link provided, have someone read through the questions asked in the Footprint Calculator.  
  • Every time you have a carbon-heavy answer (see materials list), collect a ball from the centre of the circle. The more balls means the more carbon being produced/created in your day-to-day life 
  • At the end, count how many balls you have collectedand come up with an idea about how your can reduce this number. 

Review

  • What parts of this activity surprised you? Were you expecting all these parts to contribute to carbon? 
  • Which part of your life (food, travel, housing) do you think would have the biggest impact on your footprint if you were to make it more sustainable? 
  • Did you enjoy the activity? How did it feel to have to go collect the balls from the centre? 

Materials

Collect a ball or bean bag for the following answers (based on https://www.footprintcalculator.org/) – some questions do not apply to youth, so an average answer can be used. Do not collect a ball. 

 

  • How often do you eat animal-based projects: often or very often? 
  • How much of the food that you eat is unprocessed, unpackaged or locally grown: less than 25%? 
  • Which housing type best describes your home: freestanding with running water, luxury condo? 
  • Do you have electricity: yes? 
  • How energy efficient – hardly, average? 
  • What percentage of your home’s electricity comes from renewable resources: less than 20%? 
  • Compared to your neighbours, how much trash do you generate: more, much more? 
  • How far do you travel each week: more than 200km by car, 25km by motorcycle? 
  • How many hours do you fly each year: more than 10? 

Keep it Simple

If you do not have time for the full activity, talk about what a carbon footprint is and then calculate your own footprint when you get home.   

Take it Further

Complete the full test, with details, and then create a plan for reducing your impact. How many Earthare required to meet your current needs? Your needs should be less than one Earth to avoid a negative impact, but this is very uncommon.