Mitigation—Reduce Emissions

Summary: We know what factors are contributing to a change in our global climate and ocean, so what can students, parents, and schools do to help? There are actions that individuals and communities can take to help reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that go into the atmosphere. This topic guide empowers students to take action and make a difference.

Concepts to teach:

Crosscutting Concepts Disciplinary Core Ideas Science Practices
Cause and Effect ESS3.C – Human Impacts on Earth Systems Constructing explanations and designing solutions


  1. Reducing carbon emissions will make a difference to the rate and impact of climate change
  2. There are personal actions everyone can take to help reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that go into the atmosphere

Standards: NGSS Performance Expectations

  • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Specific Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  1. Describe how reducing greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the rate and impacts of climate change
  2. Identify and evaluate behaviors that reduce the amount of carbon humans put into the atmosphere

Activity Links and Resources:

  • The bathtub model shows that turning off the tap is an important component to solving the problem of excess greenhouse gases.
  • How does your behavior affect the carbon balance? Calculate your impact:
  • Ideas for reducing your impact on a personal level
  • Ideas for reducing your school’s impact


  • Quantitatively assess the impact of a behavior change
  • Share successful changes with others