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Earth SAVER Curriculum

Below you will find a printable version of the Earth SAVER curriculum. Descriptions of the activities and downloadable materials for these activities are also available here. Each teacher at your school will need a copy of the curriculum, so print a copy for each teacher that is participating.

To fulfill Earth SAVER requirements, you must present the introduction activity and at least one activity from each of the curriculum's 3 units. Download, print and prepare the following materials according to the activities you choose to present. Please note that some activities do not require additional printable materials; everything for these activities is contained within the curriculum. Also note that if you schedule a guest presenter to come in and facilitate an activity, they will provide the materials necessary.

Earth SAVER Curriculum

Introduction Activity

Take It As It Comes (required)

Material Resources Activities
Watch Where You Step
The Good, The Bad, The Smelly
Warranting Waste

Water Resources Activities
Water Pollution Solution
We All Live in a watershed

Energy Resources Activities
More Than Money Can Buy
Hills of Bills


In the Introduction students will be introduced to some fundamental ecological themes including interdependence, sustainability, conservation and adaptation. Students will explore these essential concepts that will be echoed in upcoming lessons, through an interactive game in order to gain a deeper understanding of sustainable resource use.

In the Material Resource unit students will gain an understanding of the ways that humans impact the environment through natural resource consumption and waste generation. Learning about the connections between consumer choices and our ecological footprints, students will become empowered with the ability to make simple behavior changes that lessen our environmental impact.

In the Water Resources unit students will recognize various sources of water pollution and see the effects that this pollution has on humans, wildlife and environment. They will learn the measures we take to make both drinking and waste water safer, understand the importance of having clean water and take personal action to prevent water pollution.

Finally, in the Energy Resources unit students will be able to describe some of the environmental, social and economic  impacts associated with various types of energy production and use, understand the relationships between these impacts and energy conservation, and use this new information as a source of motivation for making positive changes in personal energy use.   


Take It As It Comes? (required)

Students engage in a class demonstration to learn first hand about the concepts of sustainability and conservation as they pertain to natural resource use.

Students will understand that there are environmental and social costs associated with using natural resources. They will see that these resources need to be carefully managed in order for them to be available for future generations and to protect the environment from degradation.


Watch Where You Step

Students look into the life cycle of a soda to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse natural resources that are required to produce this single product. Students then take this insight and apply the reflection process to a product of their choice in small groups, outlining the ecological footprint that we make when we use various products.

Students will learn to look more deeply at the products that they use and gain an appreciation for the energy, labor and resource-intensive processes that go into these products.

The Good, The Bad, The Smelly

Students take a professional tour the West Van Transfer Station, seeing first hand what happens to our garbage, recycling, yard debris and hazardous waste once it leaves our homes and schools. This behind the scenes tour provides a very impressive visual (among other senses) for understanding just how much waste we generate.
Students will gain an understanding of the fact that our waste does not just go away when we throw it away, but continues to add up. They will learn about the intensive process that recycling and waste go through after it leaves our hands.

Warranting Waste

Students sort school waste by material then measure the weight and volume of one day's worth of waste. Pre-prepared auditing forms contain instructions and are meant to be self teaching. Seeing first-hand the quantity and composition of the waste that they produce each day, performing a waste audit will impress upon students just how much garbage they produce everyday and how much could be diverted.

Students will become more aware of material resource use within their school, see what is wasted and determine how changes can be made to reduce their waste.


Water Pollution Solution

Students play the role of water molecules moving through a water cycle filled with pollutants. This interactive game teaches students the various ways our water resources become polluted and shows them how this pollution effects the environment.

Students will understand the various ways that water can become polluted as it moves through the water cycle, explain how water pollution adversely effects the environment and describe ways that we can keep our water clean.

We All Live in a Watershed

Students will read a topographic map, learn about a fictional community and interpret water quality information to determine the various sources that can contribute to non-point water pollution.

Students will learn how to read a topographic map, analyze water quality data, understand how water moves within a watershed and recognize some of the various sources of non-point water pollution.


More Than Money Can Buy

Students play a survey-style interactive game to reflect upon their energy use habits at home and at school. Throughout the game students will learn that there are real world costs associated with producing the energy that we depend on each day.

Students will understand that in addition to economic costs, there are social and environmental costs associated with producing energy for our use. Students will identify some activities that use excessive energy and recognize alternatives that promote conservation.
*Please note that the last 4 pages of this document should either be printed double sided or glued back to back before cutting (items on pages 6 and 7 will make up a 2-sided card, as will items on pages 8 and 9).  

Hills of Bills

Students will analyze a realistic electrical bill to see the actual monetary cost of running a school. In addition to monetary cost, students will take a closer look at the cost associated with producing energy to gain an understanding of the environmental and social costs that do not appear on utility bills.

Students will see firsthand that there are real world costs associated with producing and using energy and will take steps to reduce there electricity use.

Please use the list below to navigate the Earth SAVER site:

Earth SAVER Home
A Step by Step Guide
Earth SAVER Curriculum
Student Surveys
Contact Information
Behind the Scenes

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Clark County Environmental Services - Recycling and Solid Waste
Peter DuBois, Division Manager

Street Address: 1300 Franklin Street, 1st Floor, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810
Main phone: (360) 397-2121 | Fax: (360) 397-2062
Relay 711 or (800) 833-6384

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