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A Strict Carbon Diet

Doug (producer) Hamilton, WGBH NOVA

This short video follows San Francisco inventor and engineer Saul Griffith as he determines his family's carbon footprint and develops a special cargo bike to further reduce his individual footprint. This video highlights innovation, creativity, and design as solutions to problems. The overall message is inspiring and proactive.

Video length: 2:58 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPg
Humans can take action
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans can take action

Energy Literacy

Other materials addressing:
Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
Other materials addressing:
6.2 Conserving energy.
Social and technological innovation affects the amount of energy used by human society.
Other materials addressing:
6.5 Social and technological innovation.
Behavior and design affect the amount of energy used by human society.
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6.6 Behavior and design.
Other materials addressing:
Human use of energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Decisions to slow the depletion of energy resources can be made at many levels, from personal to national, and they always involve trade-offs involving economic costs and social values.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This short video would be good to include as part of a lesson on carbon footprints.
  • Show the video before beginning the lesson as an introduction, or afterwards to spark creative thinking about the carbon footprint calculation results.
  • This video will inspire viewers to examine how simple technologies can reduce carbon emissions.

About the Science

  • The focus of this video is on careful examination of the environmental consequences of one's lifestyle, and on creative design as a way to decrease individual impacts.
  • The video briefly introduces the notion of "embedded energy" or the amount of energy to produce the goods we use as well as the energy we use directly.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This video will promote some interesting questions about how we each use energy and how we can work to conserve it.
  • There is a full transcript available on the web site.
  • This would work well as part of a carbon footprint activity.
  • The message of this video is inspirational. Research shows that exposure to environmental issues can be emotionally challenging for student learners. It is beneficial for students to see examples of positive action and creative problem-solving.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The video quality is suitable for projection in a classroom.

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