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A project exploring the intersection of ecology, ethics, and economics for high school education



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Viewing Sustainability through an Economics LensHow to be Green While Staying in the Black is an economics curriculum for high school teachers in social studies, business, agricultural education, and science-related fields. The curriculum aims to equip high school students with a basic understanding of selected sustainability issues and inspire them to champion innovative solutions to address environmental, ecological, and related economic challenges facing the planet and its people. Students are challenged to find sustainable solutions in energy, water, waste, and agriculture and food. The final lesson encourages social entrepreneurship as students use their entrepreneurial talents to solve social, cultural, and economic problems related to sustainability.



These lesson plans are designed to work as a unit or as individual, stand-alone, lessons. Each lesson connects sustainability themes to one or more economics standards and contains references and links to other useful resources.
Pro tip: Each lesson plan is formatted as a Google Document.
    One of the advantages of this format is that teachers              can make personalized edits to the lessons based on 
    their class.  Click: File > Make a Copy 
Shy Girls Smiling for the Camera
Green GDP
and Other Alternative Growth Indicators
Lesson Plans


The curriculum is brought to you by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education. The lessons are the product of the shared efforts of five high school social studies teachers and three university faculty experts. The teachers are Emily Anderson, Ethan Cherin, Mike Harris, James Redelsheimer, and Jamie Shaw who provided earlier versions of the lessons. Kimberly Byrd serves as the sustainability content expert for the project, while Kristine West is the Editor and Donald Liu is the Project Director. Additionally, Caitlyn Keo and Elizabeth Kula provided invaluable support for the project. 
Donald Liu, PhD  |
Kristine West, PhD  |
Kimberly Byrd, PhD  | 
This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
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