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Freshwater: How Your T-Shirt Can Make a Difference

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

Did you know that the cotton t-shirt on your back has a major impact on the planet? A short series of effective graphics is used to identify the “costs” from the water required to make the t-shirt (2,700 litres) and the energy needed to grow, manufacture, transport and care for it (washing and drying). Other graphics remind us that what seems an abundant resource– water – is really rather limited and cotton is a very thirsty crop.

Concludes by reminding us that we are players rather than spectators in this drama and we have choices. We decide how many t-shirts we need, how often we wash and dry them, how much water we use, and whether or not to skip the washing and drying. Choices make a difference and each choice counts.

Other Internet sites that help students better understand the connection between our lifestyle and water and how we might reduce our water footprint are also identified.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

May be used

. in a variety of grade levels as a case study in ecological footprint, sustainable consumption, or decision making 

. in any grade level where the topic is water/water use or energy/energy use 

. to introduce a project wherein the class gathers data on the number of T shirts owned by students and washing and drying practices. The data might then be used to calculate the water and energy consumed and what might be done to modify the resource requirements involved.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Human Geography 12: Human activities alter landscapes in a variety of ways.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21st Century: Natural Resources
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdisciplinary Topics in Science 40S: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Consumerism
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Advanced Environmental Science 120: Earth Systems
        • Advanced Environmental Science 120:Introduction to the human sphere
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Sustainable Development
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: Water Use & the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Conservation of Energy & Resources
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Energy Conservation
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Workplace Preparation): Electricity At Home And At Work
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Introduction to Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 621A: Natural Resources
  • Quebec
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Human Geography 12: Human activities alter landscapes in a variety of ways.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (2)

    • Ecological Footprint
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Water (1)

    • Water Use