SDG12 in the classroom: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG12 in the classroom: Responsible Consumption and Production

“Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern”

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of sustainable consumption and production;
  2. Identify sustainable/unsustainable consumption and production in their daily lives;
  3. Define the concepts of sustainable consumption and production;
  4. Understand the concept of circular economy and its benefits;
  5. Choose and Implement one good consumption practice in their daily lives and report its benefits and challenges.
Activity 1: Brainstorming

Brainstorm session through the suggested questions:

  • Look in your fridge, what do you see? Do you see a lot of plastic packages? 
  • Now, look in your closet, what do you see? Ask yourself: who made my clothes? 
  • What do you usually do with leftovers? Did you know that each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced ends up in the bins while millions of people starve and suffer from malnourishment? 
  • Do you recycle? How? 
  • Recycling is very important but not the ultimate solution to solve waste problems since only a small percentage of human waste is recycled. Therefore, what else could you do besides recycling?
  • Thinking of your own home, where is energy coming from? Is it sustainable and clean (ie solar energy) or not? Is it efficient (ie LED lights) or not?
  • Today, most people own their personal car. In your opinion, is this progress or an issue? Why?
  • Reducing human footprint does not only entail sustainable consumption but also sustainable production. This means that both customers and businesses should contribute to a more sustainable world. For instance, in the food production chains from harvesting to transportation to storage and processing, it is estimated that 13.8% of the food supply gets wasted. In your opinion, why? What can be improved to limit this problem? (Other examples can be made like the fashion/clothes industry; etc.)
  • Natural resources (ie wood, minerals, etc.) extraction is a main concern of SDG12. Why? What are the consequences of such practices? 
  • What is a “circular economy”? What are its benefits?

Possible adaptations: (Online)This activity can be done with the use of online tools (ieJamboard; Miro, Mentimeter).

Introducing the topic of Responsible Consumption and Production

Responsible consumption and production is the 12th SDG established by the United Nations.

Our planet has provided us with an abundance of natural resources. But we have not utilized them responsibly and currently consume far beyond what our planet can provide. We must learn how to use and produce in sustainable ways that will reverse the harm that we have inflicted on the planet.

Activity 2: Digital Stories

Watch these videos to gain more insights about SDG12.

Afterwards, describe what “sustainable consumption and sustainable production” should entail and take into account.
1. What is the cost of my addiction? 
2.Selective Garbage Collection. Small daily habits change the world! (Brazil)
3. Sustainable use of natural resources of the forest. (Mozambique) 
4. Ecological changes and sustainable production (Brazil)
5. Giving value to waste by composting (Senegal)  

Activity 3: Challenge yourself. Reduce your waste.

Students watch the video Why I live a zero waste life and get inspired by trying to adopt one good practice in their daily lives. For instance, buy plastic-free goods when shopping, buy local food, sell or donate clothes you don't use anymore, buy second-hand clothes, etc. After a week, they write a reflection report on the 
benefits and challenges they are experiencing by adopting this sustainable consumption practice.

Possible adaptation: Students could brainstorm ideas on how to make their consumption within their school/ classroom context more sustainable and implement the best idea(s). For instance, recycle and reuse plastic, paper, and other materials for other purposes, etc.

Activity 4: Who is behind my avocados?

S2 E2: Avocado Wars: The Battle Over Water Rights in Chile is an episode of the Netflix series “Rotten” which focuses on the detrimental business of avocados run by big corporations in Chile (the biggest exporter of avocados to the United States).
Make students select a good they eat daily (a fruit, a vegetable, a sweet, etc.) and do their research about its origin and business.

  • Is it a sustainable good?
  • Does it cause negative impacts on communities and the planet?
  • Is there an ethical producer behind it or an unconcerned corporation?
Activity 5: Quiz

This quiz is about UN Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. You can either use it at the end of your lesson to revise the topics you have already talked about, or in the beggining of the lesson to challenge students prior knowledge and gain their attention.

Pedagogical twist: 

For the SDG12 (responsible consumption and production) sheet, our favorite pedagogical twist is:

Explicit teaching: Explicit teaching effectiveness is high and translates into the acceleration of students' performance (Department of Education and Training, 2019). It consists of teachers explaining to students the learning goals to achieve, how to achieve them and demonstrating them by modeling and providing examples. Teachers' support, monitoring and feedback are essential throughout the whole learning process (Department of Education and Training, 2019). In this case, explain the learning goals first, and through modeling and examples guide students to learn new concepts and skills step by step.

If you have another pedagogical twist in mind, feel free to apply or check the pedagogical twist list.

Additional material: 

Material linked to Activity 1:

Additional inspiring material:


A gift for Comundos

donateOver the years, Comundos has helped remote communities around the world by teaching critical thinking, media literacy and the use of communication technology.
To do this effectively, we need your support for computers, translations, courses and social media management.
Thank you .

Comundos - Crelan Bank
BE11 1030 2973 8248

Become a monthly donor