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Green Economy Resource Page

Activity Guide: Scavenger Hunt
Sample Project: 
We Recycle in Hoover, Alabama

This resource list is designed to help provide background for youth projects focused on or related to green economy and sustainable development.

Teaching and Learning about Green Economy and Sustainable Development

The United Nations Environment Programme maintains their UNEP Green Economy Website that has information, reports, videos, and publications related to the green economy. The Green Economy Frequently Asked Questions may provide a great place to start learning more.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has produced a teacher professional development multimedia resource kit on teaching and learning for a sustainable future that includes background information on creating a more economically equitable, environmentally sustainable, and socially inclusive future.  In particular, two modules are relevant to the MyCOE program: 

The Earth Summit Stakeholders Group provides a baseline resource about what is the Green Economy and what it means, particularly in light of the upcoming 2012 celebration of the Earth Summit anniversary, known as Rio+20.  See also the official UN site for this important event focused on the Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.  

The MyCOE Student Project Guide from 2002 includes background chapters on Rural Development and on Poverty Reduction from researchers at the United Nations Environment Programme.

Classroom Modules and Case Studies about Green Economy and Sustainable Development

Green Economy Success Stories from around the world explain encouraging results. Compiled by UNEP. 

Watch a video about Greensburg, Kansas, a small town that recovered from a devastating tornado to rebuild in a green way.

Read about communities that are acheiving just and sustainable solutions by linking environmental justice and the green economy.

Go on one of the MyCOE Digital Learning Adventures to explore Energy in Ghana.

View a compelling Geostory about Economic Innovation. 

The AAG Center for Global Geography Education online modules on Population and the Global Economy provide additional models for student exchange, study and discussions.  Link to these models to find related case studies. 

Online Tools and Ideas for Student Projects

The World Bank's International Human Development Indicators mapping toolkit visualizes country level data for the world on economic participation, development, and poverty.

Worldmapper is an online visualization tool displaying a collection of nearly 700 world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. These maps invite interesting discussions when data is viewed by values as well as spatial arrangment.

The Population Reference Bureau publishes data in an interactive finder tool for International Statistics on the Economy.

Nationmaster presents Economic Statistics by Country, compiled from many sources and ranked or rated for variables that can also be graphed or mapped.

(Note: further background information about what statistics matter to global debates can be explored in the Fast Facts Bulletins on the Millennium Development Goals.)


Find additional online materials linked from MyCOE's contextual summary on Sustainable Development.


Ideas for Youth Exchange Projects on Green Economy

Begin exploring how to develop a geographic project with the MyCOE Project Toolkit

  Consider these ideas:  

  • Green Economy Scavenger Hunt: brainstorm a list of what types of economic activities contribute to a greener economy, such as alternative energy sources, recycling, public transit, etc.  Then identify these in your local community, state, province, or country. Map them, collect photos, describe them.  Share what you find with another classroom in a different place.
    New! Use this Green Economy Scavenger Hunt Guide to help you get started. It includes a hand out to give your students that will help them complete a MyCOE project about the Green Economy.
  • Product Lifecycle Pathway: pick one to three items that is commonly used by your family or school and find out how it got to you.  What natural resources were needed to make this item and what places did they come from?  Map out the pathway that these parts took to bring the item to you and find out more about the people and places that produced them.  Are these processes sustainable?
  • Global Wealth Map: have your students reflect on global economic distribution and poverty statistics using this hands-on activity arranging chips on a map of the world, from PlanUSA.

Be inspired by more ideas in the MyCOE Project Gallery.

Discover what you need to submit your own MyCOE Project to our geoportal.