No Impact Man, Colin Beavan, and his family have inspired a nation to swap their old consumer habits for new environmentally-friendly ones. Thousands of people have tried the No Impact Experiment, a one week carbon-cleansing, as a first step in changing their everyday behavior.
The recently launched No Impact Curriculum brings the lessons learned from this year-long journey to your classroom. Five stand-alone, 50-minute lessons on consumption, energy, transportation, water, and food capture are a terrific combination of compelling information and positive action. Each lesson explores the effects your students’ everyday behavior has on the environment, their health, and their well-being. The curriculum will also challenge them to think about how the systems in our present society influence our lifestyle choices in ways that often are not good for the environment.
To download the free complete lessons, you will need to register. Registration is free, and please be assured that your email will not be shared. It is not required to purchase the DVD and book to use the lesson plans.
Please note that YES! Magazine does its best to provide educators with easily accessible teaching tools. Email login is becoming more common practice. We will recommend you register to log in only when we believe the materials are worth your time and effort.
No Impact Project: Lesson Plans for Grades 6-12
Time: 50 minutes, with some lessons requiring outside time for data collection
All five lesson plans feature the film and book from the project, No Impact Man, which follows Colin's in New York City as they examine how they live, exchange old habits for more environmentally-friendly ones, and discover in the process that such changes actually make them happier and healthier. The lessons also incorporate web site resources that build on themes that emerge from the family’s experiences.
Lesson One: Consumption
Educators can use this lesson to help students examine their consumption habits and consider strategies for acquiring necessities in ways that do less harm to the environment.
Lesson Two: Energy
Educators can use this lesson to help students explore how they can reduce their daily energy consumption and speak out on the need to have long-term, sustainable energy solutions.
Lesson Three: Food
Educators can use this lesson to help students explore how their food choices affect the environment and our quality of life.
Lesson Four: Transportation
Educators can use this lesson to help students explore how improved street design could encourage more of their classmates to use active forms of transportation to get to school.
Lesson Five: Water
Educators can use this lesson to help students learn how to save water and keep harmful chemicals out of drains.
Think about this experiment as what you get, not what you give up: a happier you that will make a happier planet. For one week, beginning and ending on a Sunday, your eco-conscience will be heightened by altering your energy usage, water usage, and food habits. It’s not about feeling guilty or deprived, but about making change your way, no matter how big or small.
to find out when the next No Impact Experiment will start. Once you sign up you will receive a user-friendly How-To Manual. Read the No Impact Experiment for more information and inspiration.
The (NIP) was established in Spring 2009 to harness the success of , book, and , which chronicle his family’s year-long experiment to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. NIP believes that deep-seated behavioral change leads to both cultural change and political engagement. It organizes and encourages "" that challenge participants to unplug, make no trash, and resist the urge to buy. Success for NIP means engaging people who are not already “tree-hugging, bicycle-riding, canvas bag-toting eco-warriors” to adopt lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on the planet and simply make them happier and more satisfied.