Classes Compete to See Who Can Reduce the Most

May 18, 2010, Concord, MA

Concord Carlisle High School recently completed a project using the carbon calculator to see which class can reduce the most. Peter Nichol, a teacher in the Earth Sciences department incorporated the calculator into this years curriculum. Over 320 students, made over 1,500 reductions that resulted in 740 metric tons of reduced carbon emissions. Each of the eleven classes chose from a list of reductions such as eating local food, planting trees or replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL lights, and then competed to see who could reduce the most carbon.

The project is part of the Earth Sciences curriculum which studies the earth’s atmosphere and how human activity impacts different levels of CO2. According to Mr. Nichol “The vast majority of students were surprised to see how large their footprints were. I'd like to pursue more ways to have the students brainstorm what to do about their footprints, to transform their analysis to action”.

Two other teachers participated in the project as well, Ray Pavlik and Jeff Yuhas. Mr. Pavlik observed, "sometimes you just have to see the data before you really understand the issue." And Mr. Yuhas said he "really likes how it brings the whole family together - engaging teens and parents around a very teachable moment."

Any resident of Concord can register and use the calculator. Concord Conserves founder Harry Bartlett notes “we are very excited to launch the calculator to the Concord Carlisle community. It’s a great way for people to learn how to lower their impact as well as collectively see how much we can conserve”.

The calculator has 3 parts: the ability to calculate your base footprint, the ability to choose reductions and see the footprint go down, and the compete feature. The calculator was launched in early 2010 and so far 741,134kg of c02 has been eliminated and 343 people have used the tool. The calculator also includes comparison data showing how Americans stack up to other people around the world. For example the average U.S. resident is responsible for emitting 20 metric tons of carbon a year, in China 4 metric tons per person and the global avergae is 6 metric tons per person.


The calculator was funded by a grant from the Concord Carlisle Community chest, private donations and Bartlett Interactive.


Mr. Nichol (center) surrounded by CCHS Earth Science Freshmen

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