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The Carbon Almanac

What does plastic have to do with climate change?

Grades: 4th Grade, 6th Grade, 5th Grade
Subjects: Science

Student Instructions

Plastic is made from fossil fuels, and most of it cannot be recycled. Let’s learn together how long it takes for plastic to break down, how plastic contributes to climate change, and how you can make a difference. First, click this link: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/GenC_ebook.pdf and read pages 31, 32, and 33 of the free ebook Generation Carbon: It’s time to start. Next, click the add add button to start a new submission. Plastic packaging is very common - in fact, lots of the stuff we buy comes in plastic that is immediately tossed out. And only about 10% of that plastic packaging is ever recycled - even the plastic you put in the recycle bin. We must persuade companies not to use plastic in their packaging and products, so it doesn't seem so "normal" to us to have so much plastic packaging. Imagine a future where getting water in a plastic bottle seems as crazy as allowing cigarette smoking in offices. Can you believe just about 20 years ago, people could smoke inside public buildings in the United States? We need to work now to make plastic water bottles seem just as crazy in the future. Let's get companies that sell products to see the big systems around us that need changing to help our climate. Use the note tool note to draft an email to a company and request them to stop using plastic materials in their products or packaging.

Teacher Notes (not visible to students)

This activity is designed to increase awareness about plastic and the problems with recycling, while also developing persuasive writing skills. This activity is designed to get students thinking about the difference between weather and climate. Materials are from The Carbon Alamanac's free Kids' Edition. For more free climate change teaching resources, see the resources below: - To learn more about The Carbon Almanac visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/ - To learn more about the free kids' ebook visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/kids- To learn more about the free educator's guide (featuring full lesson plans) visit: https://thecarbonalmanac.org/177/