| ||courtesy, MÉTA|
company: Center for a New American Dream, World Wildlife Fund
product: consumers guide
what: Smart Consumers is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary guide, where middle school students can learn about how their consumer choices affect the environment and how they can make a difference by buying differently. The toolkit includes an Educator's Guide with detailed background information, hands-on and creative activities, and an annotated list of resources for more information. It also contains a Community Action Guide, with project ideas and step-by-step advice on organising group projects. “Your Stuff, Your Planet”, a colourful two-sided poster, comes free with the guide.
The toolkit includes 14 interdisciplinary activities, among others:
who: this guide is part of Be, Live, Buy Different - Make a Difference, a joint initiative from World Wildlife Fund and the Center for a New American Dream. The program also includes on-the-ground activities to get young people involved-such as a mall scavenger hunt and an “I Buy Different” hip-hop contest-and a web site [www.ibuydifferent.org], where young people can find out about smart shopping habits and the life cycles of common products. They can also register on the site and record four simple actions they've taken, either individually or by forming a team with friends. An online calculator shows the results of their actions in terms of number of trees, gallons of water, and pounds of carbon dioxide saved.
- an analysis of pop song lyrics, followed by a discussion of the differences between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’;
- skits that trace the life cycle of a T-shirt and then consider sustainable alternatives to each stage in the cycle;
- an ‘archeological’ investigation of advertisements and an analysis of their meaning and their effects on consumer habits;
- a comparison of lifestyles and ecological footprints around the world.