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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    January/February 2008
spacer Image from The Story of Stuff
“The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago. Ask your grandma.”—Annie Leonard

Dear Educators,
If you're wondering how to get your students thinking creatively about sustainability, I have the answer: The Story of Stuff.

Since seeing this 20-minute film last month, I'm convinced it's a one-of-a-kind resource for engaging students of all ages to think about the stuff we buy and throw away.

If you do nothing else this year on sustainability in your class, show this lively film, explore our YES! teaching resources, and get your students thinking about their own stuff and how they can help shape a more satisfying, just, and sustainable world that works for all.

Kay Hubbard, Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine Kay signature
Kay Hubbard
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues, and help expand the network of teachers saying YES!
Your Stories
The U.S. border wall in Nogales, Sonora. hoto by Steev
Cultural Diversity Training for Teachers
Read about an innovative university teacher workshop on cultural diversity that integrated readings on immigration and human rights from the Is the U.S. Ready for Human Rights? issue of YES!

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: See students campaigning for a Department of Peace; listen to high-schoolers take the lead on climate change in the Cool School Campaign; hear sixth-grade girls talk about Immigration, and read about innovative teaching methods in action on Sustainability.
Please send us your stories of inspiring teaching to share with our growing network of YES! teachers.
YES! Highlights
Image from The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff shows how everything is interconnected—from the production and disposal of stuff to the disastrous impact that over-consumption has on our environment and developing countries. And it’s not just about consumption—the film raises questions and issues about the role of government, the purpose of an economy, and what makes us happy.

Everyone can make a difference, but the bigger your action the bigger the difference you’ll make. Here are 10 Little and Big Things You Can Do, to share with your students.

See The Story of Stuff, read our review of the film, and explore our selected YES! articles that address the complex issues that relate to our material economy and how we can choose to live differently.
YES! Classroom Tools
The Local Multiplier Effect. YES! Magazine graphic

The Local Multiplier Effect
Once your students have thought about reducing their consumption, help them think about the value of buying locally. A little goes a long way, as buying local products at local businesses creates a ripple effect…

Available as a downloadable pdf poster.
The Page That Counts
The Page That Counts
Number of Earth-sized planets needed if global resource consumption matched that of the US: 3. Get your students talking about the future of our economy: see our Page That Counts.

Go Local cover, YES! Magazine #40
Go Local discussion guide
Thought-provoking questions for your students from our Go Local issue on the nature of trade, alternative economies, and what it takes to create a sustainable, viable local economy.

Graffiti on a London wall by street artist Banksy.  Photo by Kevin Flemen. Flickr: Kfxposure
Live Free—Do It Yourself
Share how people are creating spaces for community, for learning, and for fulfilling their own dreams while supporting the aspirations of others. Brainstorm a new way of life…
Connect and Engage
More in-depth curriculum resources on sustainable choices for all of our… "stuff."

Facing the Future logo
Facing the Future
Facing the Future offers innovative curriculum for teaching about global issues and sustainability. We've picked eight of their free lesson plans for grades 5-12 that you can use with The Story of Stuff including Shop Till you Drop, Watch Where you Step, Livin’ the Good Life, and Is it Sustainable?

image from Center for Ecoliteracy
The Center for Ecoliteracy
In addition to information about the systems-thinking values, skills, and competencies needed to teach education for sustainability, The Center for Ecoliteracy offers examples of schools they work with and support that embody processes and practices for effective education for sustainability.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO offers a broad range of multimedia and interactive lesson plans on interdisciplinary issues related to sustainability for grades 6-12. Their lesson plan on consumption has David Suzuki explaining the human dependence on natural resources and the impact of resource consumption on the world.

Image from Redefining Progress
Redefining Progress
In partnership with Earth Day Network, Redefining Progress offers environmental education lesson plans for K-12 educators. Their Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) presents an alternative to the gross domestic product (GDP). Get your students talking about what would happen if policymakers measured what really matters to people.
Poems from YES! Magazine
Here is poetry for thought to share with your students: Ask whether they agree with what award-winning poet Martin Espada says about the role poets can play in creating a more just world:

“We must imagine the possibility of a more just world before the world may become more just. That's something that poets do well. So I guess that's where I come in.”

Imagine the Angels of Bread
Martín Espada
(Click on title to view full version)

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roofdeck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;

Cover image of Martin Espada's Imagine the Angels of Bread
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

YES! Magazine #11—Fall 1999

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
YES! Magazine covers
Fair Trade
Global Exchange's Fair Trade logo
Teach about Chocolate for Valentine’s Day
Child at a cocoa plantation. Photo courtesy of the International Labor Rights Fund.Help your students learn about chocolate, fair trade, and how they can make a difference. Global Exchange offers curriculum materials and action guides.
YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
Maestros y profesores de español

Detail from illustration by Oreste Zevola Get your students thinking and talking in Spanish about the story of stuff: La buena vida: el consumismo se quedó en los ‘90’s por Holly Dressel; Independencia de la economía global corporativa por Ethan Miller.
YES! Web Picks
Top 10 Youth Activism Stories of 2007
Young Americans are putting their energies into remarkable actions for their communities, and for the world.

a Berkeley apartment building made from recycled materials, including old CalTrans signs. 	Photo by Lane Hartwell. 10 Ways to a Human-Scale Economy
See how to bring your economy home.

Garden at the Emma Goldman Finishing School, Seattle. A low-consumption lifestyle can be comfortable, supportive and even provide a route to freedom: life at the Emma Goldman Finishing School.
Visual Learning
Detail from 'cell phones #2, Atlanta'. Photo by Chris Jordan. Detail from 'cell phones #2, Atlanta'. Photo by Chris Jordan

Intolerable Beauty
Chris Jordan's photo series on American mass consumption is a stunning view of what happens when we as a nation have too much stuff.

"My hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake." — Chris Jordan

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