Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sustainability in Schools Card Game Description


This instructional game, a card game, is a fun way to expose teachers and administrators to Education for Sustainability, the process of integrating sustainability into schools. This game focuses on operations more than curriculum because implementing sustainability can, if wisely done, save the school money and engage the community. However, the game does explore how these sustainable practices can be woven into classroom instruction.

The game and debrief take approximately 2 hours so can easily be used for professional development during in-service training.

The exercise itself is intended to exemplify student-centered learning and provide ideas for project-based learning. It can also be used with Middle- and High School students.

Sample cards


Participants are broken into teams and given a stack of cards which have sustainability-related school projects with associated sustainability benefits and costs (time and money, along with projected cost savings). Participants have a budget and must choose amongst the project options to build a two year Sustainability Project Plan. Teams are scored on the Cost-Benefit of their plan. Participants also examine ways to use their projects as learning opportunities, identifying where they can be inserted into the curriculum.


Teachers and/or administrators who want to begin integrating sustainability practices into school operations and use those practices as learning opportunities. K-12.

  • A basic familiarity with the term sustainability
  • An interest in integrating it into the school system
  • Learning objective(s)
  • Explore how sustainability practices can be applied in schools

Learning Objectives

  • Assess the appropriateness of various sustainability operational practices in terms of costs and sustainability-related benefits
  • Become familiar with The Natural Step System Conditions, a systems- and science-based framework for understanding sustainability
  • Identify ways to use those practices as learning opportunities for students
  • Select ideas that are worthy of consideration for implementation within 12 months at the participants own school.
The game is licensed under the Creative Commons. You must share any updates with us and it cannot be used for commercial purposes. If you want to download the simulation free, contact us. Since it is still undergoing testing, we want to have a way to keep in touch. Contact us if you want us to facilitate this simulation for you. SustainabilityAllianceAZ@gmail.com

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