Introduction to Principles of Sustainability

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Learning Objectives

This learning modules aims to provide students with an overview of key concepts related to sustainability.

Watch The Story of Stuff


Image courtesy of focalplane
Global Warming

First watch The Story of Stuff on Youtube. The video has seven parts. Take notes of the main points the speaker makes during the course of the presentation, and consider

  • Do you agree with what the speaker says in general?
  • Are there any specific points that seem a bit far fetched?

Remember: When viewing a clip on Youtube remember to start it loading, then pause the clip while it's buffering. When the red has almost covered the bar to the left of the time display, the clip is ready to watch.

The Story of Stuff

Collaborative Note-building

Your lecturer will give you a link to a Google document. If you've reached this part of the course, and this has not happened, let your lecturer know.

Have a look through the notes that are already there, and add the two main points that you think are important from your notes.


Write a brief post to your blog describing your position on the video. Make the blog post title the story of stuff, sustainability or something that identifies the subject matter of the post to the readers.

Pay attention to the posts of other people on this topic, and comment on the posts of anyone who says something of interest to you.

Research claims

Your lecturer will assign you a group of students to work with, and will assign you one of the more controversial points made in the presentation.

With your group you will need to

  1. Meet with your group and plan how you are to complete the following tasks. You may decide that certain participants have strengths in some areas or would prefer to complete some sections of the task more than others. You may choose to split them all evenly.
  2. Search for evidence to back up or disprove the point in question (at least three sources). While doing this you should consider the source. Are they reputable? Do they have any reason for presenting a distorted perspective?
  3. Write up a summary of your findings in a paragraph.
  4. Reference the paragraph using APA referencing.
  5. Post your paragraph and references to the course email group