Essay Prompt

2021 MOVCA High School Earth Day Essay Contest -Submissions Closed

Shrinking Our Carbon Footprints


One way that we can show respect for our environment is by shrinking our carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is a measurement of how much our human activities contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The more gas emissions we generate, the more gas gets trapped in the atmosphere, and the warmer our planet becomes. This is why keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible is good for our climate and our environment!


1) Calculate your carbon footprint using a carbon footprint calculator like the one at

2) After using the calculator and reading through the results and suggestions,  imagine specific ways that you could reduce your own carbon footprint in your personal activities.  

3) Now that you have ideas for reducing your own carbon footprint, think about a social group or community that you belong to (for example, a family, a town, a school, a class, a team, a youth group, a club, etc.) that could also reduce its carbon footprint by modifying certain activities. Suggest your ideas to at least one member of that group; you will reflect on this discussion as part of your essay. 

Essay Prompt

 In a typed essay of 400-600 words, reflect on the carbon footprint activity you completed above, using the format below. Be sure to address all sections of the prompt. 

Click here for additional resources to help you brainstorm for your essay.

      a) Discuss your personal carbon footprint calculation 

-Identify the kinds of activities that contribute to a carbon footprint

-Describe the opportunities and/or challenges you identify for reducing your personal footprint.

       b) Discuss your ideas for reducing the carbon footprint of the group you chose. 

-Describe the opportunities and/or challenges you imagine for your chosen group to reduce its footprint. 

       c) Reflect on the conversation with your group member(s)

-In trying to speak to others about this issue, what did you learn about the challenges and/or  opportunities that exist when we talk about reducing our carbon footprint?

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