Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)

Introduce Life Cycle Assessments Introduction

Mr. Chris Jordan provides “food for thought” with staggering statistics and visual images that are beautiful and disturbing at the same time. Mr. Jordan’s art can be used as a catalysis to discuss the importance of Life Cycle Assessments, which is the evaluation of the environmental impact of goods from cradle to grave.

The below website contains some of Mr. Jordan’s art that best compliments this unit on LCA.¬†

* You can learn more about Mr. Jordan and see a more eclectic selection of Mr. Jordan’s work at his website

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

This 20-minute documentary presents a critical vision of the consumerist¬† society. It purports to expose “the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.” The documentary is divided into 7 chapters: Introduction, Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal, and Another Way.

Leonard’s thesis, “you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely” is supported throughout the documentary by statistical data. Although the video itself doesn’t give attribution to her information, an annotated script is provided on the website that helps back up some of her assertions.

This documentary has some politically charged language but is a great way to allow students to develop the skills necessary to tease opinion from fact.

Once students watch the documentary, they select three or more “surprising” facts that were presented to investigate further and then write a letter to MS. Leonard, where they present, with references, their findings.

The Environmental Protection Agency

FREE – LCA poster

Climate Change – Kids Stuff

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