Careers in Earth Conservation
Sustainability and Green Jobs are a growing industry that is taking the country by storm. This industry possesses a heterogeneous workforce that performs a variety of different functions, ranging from engineering to industrial management. However, all of these careers focus on providing sufficient amounts of energy for today’s world without undermining environmental integrity or draining future resources.
Though the words “sustainability” and “green” often invoke the idea of environmental scientists, this narrow view does not accurately represent the diversity of the field. While thesescientific careers are certainly part of the industry, there are many other options for those seeking a Sustainability job or Green profession. In fact, many Sustainability careers are often focused on helping organizations and companies run more efficiently, thereby increasing their profits, pleasing their customer base, and creating a sense of well being among the community
There are many different career options in the Sustainability and Green Jobs industry. The diversity of this field makes it incredibly flexibility, allowing people from many different backgrounds and education levels to find their home here.
Earth Conservation Requirements
- Before starting work on any other requirements, write in your own words the meaning of sustainability as it pertains to Earth Conservation. Have a family meeting, and ask family members to write down what they think sustainability means. Be sure to take notes. You will need this information again for requirement 5.
- Do the following: Water. Do A AND either B OR C.
- Develop and implement a plan that attempts to reduce your family’s water usage. As a family, discuss water usage. To aid in your discussion, if past water bills are available, you may choose to examine a few. As a family, choose three ways to help reduce water consumption. Implement those ideas for 2 weeks. Share what you learn with your counselor, and tell how you think your plan affected your family’s water usage.
- Using a diagram you have created, explain to your counselor how your household gets its clean water from a natural source and what happens with the water after you use it. Include water that goes down the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry drains. Tell two ways to preserve your family’s access to clean water in the future.
- Discuss with your counselor two areas in the world that have been affected by drought over the last three years. For each area, identify a water conservation practice (successful or unsuccessful) that has been used. Tell whether the practice was effective and why. Discuss what water conservation practice you would have tried and why.
Food. Choose One of the Following:
A. Discuss with your counselor the ways individuals, families, and communities can create their own food sources (potted plants, family garden, rooftop garden, neighborhood or community garden). Tell how this plan might contribute to a more sustainable way of life if practiced globally.
B. Discuss with your counselor factors that limit the availability of food and food production in different regions of the world. Tell three ways these factors in influence the sustainability of worldwide food supplies.
Community. Do A AND either B OR C.
A. Draw a rough sketch depicting how you would design a sustainable community. Share your sketch with your counselor, and explain how the housing, work locations, shops, schools, and transportation systems affect energy, pollution, natural resources, and the economy of the community.
B. With your parent’s permission and your counselor’s approval, interview a local architect, engineer, contractor, or building materials supplier. Find out the factors that are considered when using sustainable materials in renovating or building a home, building or office. Share what you learn with your counselor.
C. Review a current housing needs assessment for your town, city, county, or state. Discuss with your counselor how birth and death rates affect sufficient housing, and how a lack of housing—or too much housing—can influence the sustainability of a local or global area.
Energy. Do A or B
A. Learn about the sustainability of different energy sources, including fossil fuels, solar, wind, nuclear, hydropower, and geothermal. Find out how the production and consumption of each of these energy sources affects the environment and what the term “carbon footprint” means. Discuss what you learn with your counselor, and explain how you think your family can reduce its carbon footprint.
B. Develop and implement a plan that attempts to reduce consumption for one of your family’s household utilities. Examine your family’s bills for that utility re-enacting usage for three months (past or current). As a family, choose three ways to help reduce consumption and be a better steward of this resource. Implement those ideas for one month. Share what you learn with your counselor, and tell how your plan affected your family’s usage.
C. Evaluate your family’s fuel and transportation usage. As a family, choose three ways to help reduce consumption and be a better steward of this resource. Implement those ideas for 2 weeks. Share what you learn with your counselor, and tell how your plan affected your family’s transportation habits.
Do A AND either B OR C.
A. Keep a log of the “stuff” your family purchases (excluding food items) for two weeks. In your log, categorize each purchase as an essential need (such as soap) or a desirable want (such as a DVD). Share what you learn with your counselor.
B. Plan a project that involves the participation of your family to identify the “stuff” your family no longer needs. Complete your project by donating, repurposing, or recycling these items.
C. Discuss with your counselor how having too much “stuff” affects you, your family, and your community. Include the following: the financial impact, time spent, maintenance, health, storage, and waste. Include in your discussion the practices that can be used to avoid accumulating too much “stuff.”
Do the following:
- Explain to your counselor how the planetary life-support systems (soil, climate, freshwater, atmospheric, nutrient, oceanic, ecosystems, and species) support life on Earth and interact with one another.
2. Tell how the harvesting or production of raw materials (by extraction or recycling), along with distribution of the resulting products, consumption, and disposal/repurposing, influences current and future sustainability thinking
Explore TWO of the following categories. Have a discussion with your family about the two you select. In your discussion, include your observations, and best and worst practices. Share what you learn with your counselor.
- Plastic waste. Discuss the impact plastic waste has on the environment (land, water, air). Learn about the number system for plastic recyclables, and determine which plastics are more commonly recycled. Find out what the trash vortex is and how it was formed.
- Electronic waste. Choose three electronic devices in your household. Find out the average lifespan of each, what happens to these devices once they pass their useful life, and whether they can be recycled in whole or part. Discuss the impact of electronic waste on the environment.
- Foodwaste.Learn about the value of composting and how to start a compost pile. Start a compost pile appropriate
for your living situation. Tell what can be done with the compost when it is ready for use.
- Species decline. Explain the term species (plant or animal) decline. Discuss the human activities that contribute to species decline, what can be done to help reverse the decline, and its impact on a sustainable environment.
- World population. Learn how the world’s population affects the sustainability of Earth. Discuss three human activities that may contribute to putting Earth at risk, now and in the future.
- Climate change. Find a world map that shows the pattern of temperature change for a period of at least 100 years. Share this map with your counselor, and discuss three factors that scientists believe affect the global weather and temperature.
- Do the following:
- After completing requirements 1 through 4, have a family meeting. Discuss what your family has learned about what it means to be a sustainable citizen. Talk about the behavioral changes and life choices your family can make to live more sustainably. Share what you learn with your counselor.
- Learn about career opportunities in the Earth Conservation field. Choose one and find out the education, training, and experience required. Discuss what you have learned with your counselor and explain why this career might interest you.