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Enviro-Proofing Your Home

Activity Information:

Grade Appropriate Level: 11/12
Duration: two to three 45-minute periods for Introductory Activities, two to three 45-minute periods for Poster Project, and 1 month (approximately) for the final project.
Materials: Teacher should provide research suggestions/ideas, web sites, handouts, guest speakers, and supplementary field trips


  • ​To make Social Studies 11/12 students more responsible for the production and control of waste in their own lives.

  • Students will analyze their home environments and establish recycling, composting, and energy-saving systems that will lessen their family’s impact on the environment while saving them money in the long run.

  • Students will become more analytical about their own wasteful habits and more accountable for their immediate impact on the environment.

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Prescribed Learning Outcomes:

Social Studies, Language Arts

It is expected that students will:

  • Gather relevant information from appropriate sources

  • Develop and express appropriate responses to issues or problems

  • Demonstrate appropriate research skills, including the ability to collect original data, present and interpret data in graphic form

  • Demonstrate awareness of the value of social studies education in their daily lives and careers

  • Explain the environmental impact of economic activity, population growth, urbanization, and standard of living

  • Identify and assess environmental issues facing Canadians

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Observing, measuring, communicating & interpreting data; explaining & applying ideas; solving problems.

Introductory Activity:

  • Before assigning the major project for enviro-proofing their homes, students will spend a few classes learning background information on waste management and energy efficiency issues in our society. This will include a look at municipal and industrial waste management situations.

  • Specifically, topic of waste management will be presented to students in a series of lessons about recycling, composting, and saving energy.

  • With this knowledge, they should have the background enabling them to complete the major project on enviro-proofing their own homes.

Suggested Instructional Strategies:

Lesson A - Poster Project

  • Students will be given a large sheet of paper (either 11” by 17” or poster paper). On this sheet, they will draw a detailed, labelled map of their apartment, condo, townhouse, house and property, ranch, etc.

  • Students will then begin doing an inventory of the waste produced in their homes. They will label waste-producing areas of their home on the map they have created.

  • Students will complete an energy analysis of their homes (see attached Home Energy Saver Contract). They will begin by finding out the cost of their monthly Hydro and Heating costs. They will label the areas of their home where Hydro and Energy concerns are taxing both the environment’s and their family’s resources (i.e. windows, doors, chimneys etc.)

Lesson B - Enviro-Proofing Plan

  • Students will then detail a plan to make their home a more environmentally friendly place.


Students must create a system for recycling all of their waste by:

  • Creating a recycling centre in their home

  • Designating this centre on their map

  • Labelling and deploying containers for recycling paper, magazines, glass, tin cans, milk jugs, refundable containers, and miscellaneous items

  • Creating a schedule for delivering their recyclables to the appropriate processing centre

Students must make their homes more energy efficient by:

  • Implementing a Home Energy Savings Contract with their parents (see attached handout)

  • Exploring the opportunity of having the Hydro Power Smart Program ( conduct a free energy audit on their home, then using low-interest rate loans from Hydro to improve energy efficiency.

  • Implementing energy-saving techniques by:

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  1. hang-drying clothes

  2. using cold water to do laundry

  3. cutting back on light use

  4. taking shorter showers and bathing less

  5. cutting back on the use of the home heating system

  6. hand washing and drying dishes

  7. ensuring that the water heater is properly insulated

  8. reducing water flow in taps and toilets

  9. using rainwater to water plants

  10. using fluorescent light bulbs rather than electric

  11. carpooling with friends and family

  12. exploring the possibilities of using alternative energy systems, such as solar or thermal

  13. Weatherproofing windows, doors, fireplaces etc

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Suggested Assessment Strategies:

  • Students must complete the poster project detailing their home’s layout, waste and energy deficiencies, and the plan for recycling and energy efficiency. The mark will be negotiated between the student and teacher based on the quality, thoroughness, and creativity of their poster project and the implementation of a home waste management system.

  • Students will self-evaluate, be evaluated by parents, and by the teacher, who will follow up by phoning home one month after completion of the poster project (see evaluation handout). Students will receive more marks if they have begun to fulfil the requirements of their enviro-proofing plan.

Extension Activities:

  • Field trip tour of the local landfill. Students will brainstorm more ways to recycle garbage.

  • Students will develop a recycling, energy efficiency plan for their school similar to the one

  • for their home. As well, they could develop a similar program for a relative or friend’s home.

  • Guest speakers from local environmental groups, industry and government could be brought into the classroom to explain their views on waste and innovative energy management.

Cross-Curricular Interests:

Environment & Sustainability, Science-Technology-Society, Media Education

Suggested Links:

Lesson plan submitted by: Fred Rogger

Prepared/adapted by: Eve Simon for FORED BC

Evaluation Forms & Energy Contract:

Evaluation Form Preview

Enviro-Proofing Eval Form Preview

Energy Contract Preview

Energy Contract Preview - Enviro-Proofing

Download this Short, Comprehensive Recycling Guide below!

Recycling guide - Enviro-Proofing Your Home

Download the PDF version of

Enviro-Proofing Your Home Activity below:

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