National Geographic offers a couple of neat interactive charts that illustrate the environmental impact of individual choices. The Personal Energy Meter is a tool for evaluating your personal carbon footprint. The meter asks for your location then asks a series of questions about your energy consumption. The result compares you to the average person in your region.
The Human Footprint Interactive shows you how you compare to others around the world when it comes to consumption of foods and consumer goods. Pick any of the ten items like eggs, bread, or soda pop to see how much you consume compared to people in other parts of the world. You can also compare your water consumption to that of others around the world.
Applications for Education
Both of these interactive charts could be useful in starting lessons about energy and natural resource consumption. Have students use both interactives to see how they compare to others. Then ask students to identify opportunities for reducing consumption.