To wean the toy industry off plastic is no easy game

To wean the toy industry off plastic is no easy game

The global toy industry has a plastics predicament: How to feed children’s appetite for new toys, keep prices low and not harm the Earth in the process. A pile of plastic toys at a toy landfill. (Illustration by News Decoder) Plastic is omnipresent in our lives...

90% of the world’s new toys feature some form of plastic. As the industry continues to grow, especially in places like North America, how can we ensure toy makers are thinking of the environment — and not just profit? University of Toronto Journalism Fellow Preety Sharma covers potential solutions.

Exercise: Sharma’s article suggests that pro-environmental behavior is most commonly adopted when it is a default option. That means it is the easiest or cheapest option. In pairs, have students think about the default options in their lives. Are these the most environmentally-friendly options, or is there room for improvement? For example: students may think about the accessibility of recycling/compost bins in their local community, the types of food packaging they see in the grocery store, etc.

Saving people, fish and Alpine snow: Our story contest winners

Saving people, fish and Alpine snow: Our story contest winners

For the 14th News Decoder Storytelling Competition, the winning stories tackled human trafficking, river conservation and climate change. In its first year of working with News Decoder, the Tatnall School in the U.S. state of Delaware took both first and second prizes...

Mining nickel comes with big costs

Mining nickel comes with big costs

Massive industrial complexes for nickel mining have transformed an Indonesian island long home to fishing villages and school children. Workers walk near excavators to gather soil containing nickel ore at PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry, a nickel processing complex...

Understanding nuance and context is a critical skill to develop in young people. In this photo essay from guest writer Garry Lotulung, students learn about the impact of the green transition on local communities in Indonesia, where nickel is mined to produce batteries for electric cars. Globally, transitioning to renewable energy is a positive — what’s the impact for Indonesians on the ground? 

Exercise: In groups of 2-3, students will engage in a See-Think-Wonder activity with the photos in the article’s gallery. Each group will focus on a different photo, logging first what they see in the image, what they think is happening and what they wonder about after examining the image. The see stage develops students’ observation skills and focuses on gathering information without making interpretations. The think stage helps students develop critical thinking by interpreting and coming to conclusions using visual evidence in the photo. The wonder stage prompts inquiry and intellectual curiosity. After the See-Think-Wonder activity, read the article as a class.

Tag: climate change