The Ecological Footprint is a great way of showing students that humans are using the earth's natural resources a lot faster than they can be regenerated. The following worksheet introduces the term and shows how it is calculated. It includes an exercise on Germany's Ecological Footprint as well as links to websites where students can calculate their own ecological footprint, which is a great idea as a homework task or can be done in class (in this case, computers are needed).
Ecological Footprint Quiz (myfootprint.org) --> for older students
Personal Footprint (Global Footprint Network) --> for older students
The Story of Stuff is a video clip by the Tides Foundation & Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption describing where products come from before we consume them and what happens to them after we are done using them. The video is 20 minutes long but very recommendable. The language is appropriate for most bilingual classes.
The German consumer association (Verbraucherzentrale) has an educational portal with teaching material on consumerism and sustainable consumption. To download a complete lesson plan on the Ecological Footprint in English, click here.
Ecological Footprint cartoon